What are giraffes?
Giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals. They are uniquely adapted to reach vegetation inaccessible to other herbivores. The giraffe has unusually elastic blood vessels with a series of valves that help offset the sudden buildup of blood (and to prevent fainting) when its head is raised, lowered, or swung quickly. Giraffe “horns” are actually knobs covered with skin and hair above the eyes that protect the head from injury.
Humans hunt giraffes for their hides and meat.
Giraffe tails are highly prized by many African cultures. The desire for good-luck bracelets, fly whisks, and thread for sewing or stringing beads have led people to kill the giraffe for its tail alone. Giraffes are easily killed, and poaching (now more often for their meat and hide) continues today.
Giraffes are quickly losing their living spaces.
The number of giraffes in the wild is shrinking as their habitats shrink. As human populations grow and increase agricultural activities, expand settlements, and construct roads, the giraffe is losing its beloved acacia trees, which are its main source of food.