Scientific name is “camelopardalis”, meaning “camel leopard” in Latin.
Native to Africa.
Nine subspecies, based on coat pattern. Like human fingerprints, every coat is unique.
Tallest of all land-living animals. Males (bulls) can be 16-18’ tall and weigh between 1700 and 4200 lbs. Females (cows) are 1-2’ shorter and weigh several hundred pounds less.
Thought to be mute. Although quiet, they grunt, snort and bleat. Recent research has shown evidence that they communicate at infrasound level.
Can reach speeds up to 35mph. Every step is 15’ long. You would have to run to keep up with one.
Can eat 140 lbs. of food daily. Prefers new shoots and leaves, mainly from the acacia tree. Can live on any vegetable food. Can drink 12 gallons in one sitting.
Tongue is 18 inches long.
One of the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal, averaging 1.9 hours per day. Rarely lay down. Sleep and give birth standing up.
Gestation lasts 14-15 months, after which single calf is born. Mother gives birth standing up and embryonic sack usually bursts when baby falls to ground. Newborns 6’ tall. Within a few hours, calves can run around, but for first two weeks, they spend most of their time lying down, guarded by mother. One of the few animals born with horns.
Non-territorial and social, living in loose open herds. Females form groups of a dozen members, occasionally including a few younger males. Males tend to live in "bachelor" herds, with older males often leading solitary lives.
Life span is 20-25 years in the wild and 28 years in captivity.