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#404 Rothschild's Giraffes - Auckland Zoo (New Zealand)

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Rothschild's Giraffes at the Auckland Zoo (New Zealand)

They are the tallest mammals in the world, with some measuring up to 6m. Although giraffes walk slowly, their walking stride is over 4,5m, so they cover long distances at a time. Their long necks are key to reach their food, as they browse from the tops of trees. The hair on a giraffe's tail is 10 to 20 times thicker than human hair. Each giraffe's pattern is a unique "fingerprint", it's colours work as a camouflage, helping the giraffes blend with the world around them. A newborn giraffe is 1,6m tall; it needs to be this tall to reach its mother's milk. Calves can stand up as quickly as one hour after they are born. This is vital in the wild, as vulnerable animals are the first target of predators.

Matthijs van Wageningen
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