What do giraffes eat?
In the wild, they mainly subsist on acacia leaves and fruit but have been known to eat over 100 types of plants.
They also occasionally snack on liana vines, branches from young trees, and fallen fruit.
Giraffes eat both young and mature acacia trees, stripping one or two branches at a time.
They do not stay in one area long enough to strip bark from the tree, though they may come back every couple of days.
While an adult giraffes can eat up to 75 pounds (34 kilograms) on a single day, they only need about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of food each day to sustain themselves.
They can go for days without water, but they do need to stay hydrated when the temperatures are high.
Giraffes will eat in the morning and throughout the night to make sure they get enough food in before nighttime when it is too dangerous to be out and about.
They are prey for many animals, including hyenas, leopards, and lions.
As they are also very tall, it is difficult to sneak up on them in the wild.
What Do Giraffes Eat in Captivity?
In captivity, giraffes eat hay, alfalfa pellets, grain mix (containing oats, barley, rye), leafy branches from trees, and fruit.
They also receive a salt-iron supplement daily.
The giraffe’s main source of water comes from the leaves they eat, but zoos will often give them a fresh supply to keep them hydrated.
What Are Some of the Habits Giraffes Have?
Giraffes spend their days leisurely browsing the tops of trees for food.
They don’t really run or gallop but can walk very fast in short spurts. They are able to sprint the fastest at 31 mph (50 kph)
Giraffes will usually stay near water when they eat.
This is because their food naturally occurs in clumps and shrubs which are separated by areas of dry land.
They use their long tongues to grab the leaves off of the branches.
There are roughly nine species in the Giraffa genus, and they are all native to Africa.
The four most common are the Masai, reticulated, Rothschild’s, and South African.
They are all widespread across the continent.
Giraffes are considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The main threats to their population are poaching, habitat loss due to human settlement, and capture for pets or zoo animals.
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