My dad has some friends who work with poor people in Niger, so I though that I would write about an animal from that country, the Niger giraffe.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- Like other kinds of giraffes, these guys are best known for their long necks which make them very tall. Males can grow up to 5.3 metres tall. However, despite their length, a giraffe’s neck has the same number of bones as a human’s neck.
- They use their long neck to reach for juicy leaves at the top of trees and use their very long tongue to rip off the leaves. Their tongues can grow up to 45 cm long.
- Niger giraffes have much lighter markings than other giraffe sub-species. They also have slightly more erect horns on their heads than other giraffes. Males use these horns when fighting with each other, whipping their necks around so that the horns hit their opponent.
- Also known as the West African giraffe, they used to have a wide range from Senegal to Cameroon, but their numbers have been decimated and now they are only found in a small area of south west Niger. By 1996 their numbers had dropped to just 50 and they were in danger of extinction, but they have slowly recovered to around 300 animals since then.
- They are the only sub-species of giraffe that is found entirely in unprotected areas, which means that they often compete with humans for food, although they are more often left alone now.
I hope that you found these facts interesting.
Are there any interesting facts that you would like to share about Niger giraffes?