The Giraffe is the tallest animal in the world, with a long neck that allows it to reach high branches that only the Elephant and tree dwellers can get to. Their long neck alone is bigger than most humans, yet have only seven bones like human necks do.
Each Giraffe has a specific pattern of spots, like fingerprints that allow zoo keepers to tell them apart. Herds of about twenty Giraffes can roam over an area of about half a mile, and there is no leader. With keen eyesight above the trees, Giraffes can spot each other over a long distance. With dew and water on leaves it feeds on, Giraffes do not need to drink often, but will drink 10 gallons a day at the zoo. After a pregnancy lasting a little over a year, a six foot baby Giraffe is born by dropping head first on the ground, and many have been born in captivity.
More than most animals, Giraffes need dedicated care in a captive environment, and finding the tall Acacia trees that they feed on lets them stretch their long neck and tongue is often a challenge for zoos. Giraffes also enjoy eating carrots and hay. Zoos must recreate an environment that imitates the African Savannah where they live, and which will make them feel at home and comfortable.
In their natural environment, Giraffes get their hooves trimmed by the rocks and sand they step on, or else they will grow quickly. Giraffes have a friendly, curious nature that has helped them adapt to zoo life easier than other species, but they are very sensitive to their environment and quickly notice any change, thus requiring frequent cleaning of their living quarters.