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Interactions with Other Species


     Giraffe and man:  Giraffes were captured and sent to royalty in early Egyptian times.  When giraffes were first introduced to humans it was called a cameleopard because they thought they had the body of a camel and the spots of a leopard.  The Romans hoped that they had found a new vicious animal for the gladiators.  However they soon learned the giraffe is a peaceful animal.  Now giraffes are constantly seen in small villages in southern Africa.  They rarely cause damage, and there is no reason for humans to fear these peaceful animals.  Some of these African tribes traditionally hunt giraffes for food.  They may also be killed for the hair in their tails which is used to make bracelets.  These bracelets are popular among tourists and because of there popularity there has been a rise in poaching in some areas.

Photo by Lauren Darcey. All rights reserved.

     The main predator of the giraffe is the lion.  Half of their calves are killed by lions each year.  However once the giraffes are adults they are rarely killed because of their height and strength.  If the kick is powerful enough, an adult can kill a lion with one kick.  They are also not likely to be attacked because when in herds predators are usually spotted quickly, and the entire herd will just watch the lion for awhile.  When lions know they are being watched they will not attack.       Other predators include crocodiles which can attack giraffes while they are drinking from a watering hole, or river.  The crocodile will grab the neck of a giraffe and pull it into the water.  This is rare with adults because of their large size, but many calves are killed by crocodiles.


This image created by me.