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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Friday, 6 March '09: Giraffe news


Raph of Giraffe world, quite recently awarded me the Premio Dardos Award. I have failed to post it as yet - watch that sidebar! In return for this honour, I doing a little post on that most gracious, elegant and serene inhabitant of Africa - the giraffe. Happily I can report that giraffes are doing well here in South Africa where conserved populations are thriving - in the Kruger National Park, the largest national park in South Africa - and on private ranches and game reserves. Last May I even posted my own snap of two giraffes grazing on a golf course in Bloemfontein.



Some giraffical facts: The giraffe is, of course, the tallest animal in the world and it needs a complex blood circulatory system, not fully understood by zoologists, to transmit a blood supply up that incredibly long neck. Long lashed and long tongued, giraffes feed on the leaves of trees not accessible to other herbivores. Giraffes can reach a speed of 55 km but an occupational hazard is broken limbs caused by slipping on wet surfaces. Careful, Raph, in all that snow! Those necks are useful in mating conflicts too. Males use their long powerful necks to strike an opponent's body and males wrestle by twining their necks around each other. The loser is pushed off balance but fights rarely lead to more than that. Otherwise these beautiful animals tranquilly mind their own business and go about life in the African bush with a peaceful air.


An interesting anecdote I read when preparing this blog was about a game ranger in the Kruger National Park who recently observed a female giraffe with a noticeably deformed jaw wandering in a foursome. She was healthy and full grown. In spite of her obvious defect her long tongue functioned well as did her sharp incisors which stripped the leaves and pods from stems.

So who is for a trip to the Kruger National Park to see giraffes and the Big Five: lion, cheetah, rhino, bufffalo and hippo? You can stay with me at Thatchwick en route - and that's a promise!

11 comments:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Eleanor. Thanks you for visiting my blog. I left s message for you on yours a long time ago as a friend, Mary told me about you also being from SA.

This is a lovely article on giraffe. I love watching these beautiful creatures.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I did enjoy your post on giraffes - aren't they beautiful animals. I'm sure Raph would reallly enjoy it too. Thanks for calling. I shall put you on my blog list now. Call again.

Smilingsal said...

I always have admired the giraffe. Thank you for teaching me some interesting facts.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Eleanor - thank you for the honour of posting about our planet Earth relations!

Your giraffes are very similar to the wild giraffes we have here. I've really enjoyed reading about them and looking at the beautiful photos.

(Fortunately we wear wellies in the snow with grippy soles!!)

I wish I could come for a visit to the Kruger National Park! Maybe there is a portal somewhere near!!

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Hello, so nice to meet you, what a beautiful blog you have I have so enjoyed visiting with you. Thank you for the information on the giraffes. I have always thought that they were magnificent animals!!! and am happy now to know some what more about them.
Thank you for your visit, I will be back for another visit.
Blessings
sue

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Beautiful animals Eleanor.Thank you for sharing the information about them.

Barbara Martin said...

Eleanor, wonderful post on the giraffes!! Such elegant animals, and Raph is so pleased.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Eleanor, what I wouldn't give to visit you in Africa! My favorite animal at the zoo was always the giraffe... next to the elephants. I am fascinated by them. I would love to see them in their natural habitat.

If you ever want to see gators or manatees in theirs, come see us in Florida! :-)

XO,

Sheila :-)

TheWritersPorch said...

I would love to visit both you and the zoo and sit on that wonderful porch with you and the boys....oh well, it never hurts to dream now does it?
Carol

Greyscale Territory said...

O how I would love to take up your offer to stay awhile in your little cottage! I so adore that wavy low roofline! Almost like a cottage in a storybook! And to travel from there to see the animals would just be the ultimate adventure! Delightful post!

Sreddy Yen said...

Popped in to say "hi"! I would love to visit the Kruger Park again someday. Some interesting facts on the giraffe ;O)

Sreddy