World Giraffe Day is an exciting annual event initiated by GCF to celebrate the longest-necked animal on the longest day or night (depending on which hemisphere you live!) of the year – 21 June – every year.
Not only is it a worldwide celebration of these amazing and much-loved animals, but an annual event to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges giraffe face in the wild. By supporting World Giraffe Day (WGD), you directly help save giraffe in Africa. With only 100,000 giraffe remaining in the wild, the time is right to act NOW!
Zoos, schools, NGOs, governments, institutions, companies and conservation organisations around the world are hosting events on or around 21 June every year to raise awareness and support for giraffe in the wild.
In celebration, here are 11 giraffe facts:
- Giraffes are the tallest mammals on Earth. Their legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet.
- They can run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances, or cruise at 10 mph over longer distances.
- A giraffe’s neck is too short to reach the ground. As a result, it has to awkwardly spread its front legs or kneel to reach the ground for a drink of water.
- Giraffes only need to drink once every few days. Most of their water comes from all the plants they eat.
- Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up; they even sleep and give birth standing up.
- The giraffe calf can stand up and walk after about an hour and within a week, it starts to sample vegetation.
- Despite the females’ attempts to stand over their calves during attacks by lions, spotted hyenas, leopards and African wild dogs (4), many calves are killed in their first few months.
- A giraffe’s spots are much like human fingerprints. No two individual giraffes have exactly the same pattern.
- Both male and female giraffes have two distinct, hair-covered horns called ossicones. Male giraffes use their horns to sometimes fight with other males.
- Giraffes only need 5 to 30 minutes of sleep in a 24-hour period! They often achieve that in quick naps that may last only a minute or two at a time.
- Whilst it was thought that giraffes did not make any sounds, this is now known to be untrue, as giraffes bellow, snort, hiss and make flute-like sounds, as well as low pitch noises beyond the range of human hearing.