Giraffes may live in a herd of 30-50 individuals. Males will often fight over females by kicking or striking each other with the horns on their heads. Giraffes have these horns from birth, making them the only animals that don’t grow their horns later in life.
Giraffes are known to eat leaves from the thorny acacia tree. Their 18-inch tongue is dark purple to protect from sunburn, and covered in slime to protect from harsh thorns. A male giraffe may eat as much as 70 lbs. of vegetation in a single day. Giraffes are similar to cows in that they chew their cud (regurgitated food) after eating and then re- swallow it for digestion.
Weather permitting, guests may feed the giraffes for $5.00. The giraffe feeding station is open from 10:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:15-3:30 p.m. daily, and until 4:00 on weekends.
Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata
Habitat: African Savannah
Diet in the wild: Leaves from acacia, mimosa, and sausage trees
Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Sweet feed, Caldwell Zoo pellets, alfalfa
Size: Females are generally 13-15 feet in height, while males can reach 18-19 feet.
Family: Female giraffes will “babysit” each other’s offspring
Did you know? Giraffes have a prehensile tongue