National Zoo & Aquarium

Hi! I’m Shaba a Giraffe

Holding the record of the tallest land mammal, the giraffe is an iconic African animal. The giraffes many specialiSed adaptations has created its own unique niche on the Savannah. The giraffes’ long neck enables it eat the top leaves of the African acacia tree, no other animal can do this. Their 45 to 53cm long prehensile tongue wrap in between the long thorns of the Acacia tree. To prevent sunburn their tongue is also dark blue. Thick saliva protects their mouth from the bite of stinging ants which inhabit many trees.

Giraffes are also known as the ‘lookout of the plains’. Their height allows them to see up to 2kms. If a giraffe see a predator in the distance they move in the other direction; other animals watch the giraffes’ movement and follow suit to avoid predators.

The National Zoo is home to 4 giraffe. Humbekhali (Hummer) the resident bachelor male; Shaba (dad), Mzungu (mum) and Kebibi (daughter). (Currently off display).

Giraffe

Meet a giraffe on our Giraffe Encounter

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Giraffe facts

CONSERVATION STATUS Lower Risk
DISTRIBUTION Throughout Africa
HEIGHT 5.3 m (male), 4.3m (female)
WEIGHT 1,100–1,932kg (male), 700–1,182kg (female)
LIFE SPAN 20–30 years
GESTATION 457 days

Meet a giraffe on our Giraffe Encounter

Learn more
Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

Open every day from 9:30am to 5:00pm

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