Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hello up there! It's feeding time!

Feeding the giraffes at Riverbanks Zoo is a very interesting experience. This video is from a few weeks ago. It's very exciting when the giraffe walks over to get the food. It's so big, but it's so gentle.

When its tongue grabs the food, it feels very sticky. Their slimy saliva protects them from thorns or twigs they might eat. Their tongues are almost 18 inches long and dark purple. They need their long necks and long tongues to reach leaves high up in the trees.

Giraffes are found in the savanna of Africa, and can grow up to 18 feet tall. They are related to the Okapi. I've seen pictures of its relatives during the Ice Age, like this one, and they look like deer or elk.
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They can run almost 30 mph, and have a deadly kick if they need to. Uganda Giraffes are endangered, but most species of giraffes aren't endangered right now. But if habitat loss continues, they will be.