Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)
aka Maasai Giraffe, Kilimanjaro Giraffe or Kenyan Giraffe

Appearance
The Masai Giraffe is one of three species of Giraffe in Kenya, the other two being Rothschild and Reticulated. The main difference between the sub-species are the pattern of dots; Masai Giraffe are identified by the very jagged spots on their bodies, while the other two species spots are more well-defined. Each Masai Giraffe has a different pattern layout and as they grow older, their coats and in particular their faces, darken with age.
Masai Giraffe are one of the tallest of all Giraffes and males grow up to 19' (5.8 metres) tall - females 16' (4.9 metres). Their long necks and spindly legs make up for much of their height.
See more general information regarding Giraffes.

Resident
Masai Giraffe are found in the southern half of Kenya, wherever there is sufficient food and water.

Longevity
A single calf (rarely, twins) is born after a gestation period of 450 days. It weighs an average of 100kg and can be 6' (2 metres) tall. It is able to walk within an hour and run within a day. Masai Giraffe live for up to 28 years.

Predators
The only time an adult Masai Giraffe is liable to be predated is when it is drinking and therefore has its forelegs bent. Mostly Lion are the predators, although occasionally Nile Crocodile occasionally take drinking Giraffe. Lion will also take young Masai Giraffe, although adults will protect the young with lashing hooves.

Behaviour
Masai Giraffe have large home ranges of up to 46 square miles (120 square kilometres), travelling all the time in herds of 4 - 30. However, herds are not stable and individuals drift between herds. Adult bulls are often solitary.
See more general information regarding Giraffes.

Diet
Masai Giraffe eat for up to 20 hours a day, resting during the hottest hours and preferring Whistling-thorn Acacia leaves. The Whistling-thorn is so named for the corms within their thorny branches. Each corm is inhabited by a Cocktail Ant that enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the tree. The ant has somewhere to live and protects the tree from browsing Giraffe, by rushing along the branches and biting the lips of the feeding Giraffe. The entrance hole to the corm acts like a whistle when a breeze blows across it - thus the name of the Acacia.
Masai Giraffe also eat twigs, flowers, fruit and bark and providing they get sufficient to eat, can go without water for for weeks at a time. They have a four chambered stomach and are ruminants, so are often seen chewing the cud.

Other Masai Giraffe Facts
The collective noun for Masai Giraffe is a 'tower'.
Like cows, Masai Giraffe males are named 'bulls' and females 'cows', while youngsters are named 'calves'.

Photographs
Images taken in Kenya's Masai Mara, Nairobi National Park and Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Animals
Subcategory:Wildlife
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:animal, giraffe, kenya, kilimanjaro giraffe, maasai giraffe, masai giraffe, wildlife

Masai Giraffe ~ Mother & Baby

A mother Masai Giraffe bends down, her neck arching, creating the perfect frame for her baby.

Masai Giraffe ~ Oxpecker's View

Giraffe head & neck, from high up, eating from an Acacia tree.

Masai Giraffe ~ Speech Bubble

Masai Giraffe, Hot Air Balloon, 'speech bubble', funny.

Masai Giraffe ~ "Necking"

Two Masai Giraffe males 'necking', fighting for supremacy.

Masai Giraffe ~ Life-size

Portrait, Masai Giraffe's head, Kenya's Masai Mara.

Masai Giraffe ~ Newborn

Baby Masai Giraffe, side-on, head turned, tail raised.

Masai Giraffe ~ Recumbant

Masai Giraffe lying down, Kenya's Masai Mara.

Masai Giraffe ~ Fight

2 Masai Giraffe fighting in Masai Mara, Kenya.

Masai Giraffe ~ Panoramic

Panoramic photograph of small herd of Masai Giraffe in front of the escarpment in Kenya's Masai Mara.

Masai Giraffe ~ Landscape

A landscape photograph of the Masai Mara escarpment, with nine Masai Giraffes.

Masai Giraffe ~ Early Morning

A baby and two female Masai (Maasai or Kilimanjaro) Giraffe in early morning sunlight in Kenya's Masai Mara.

Masai Giraffe ~ Baby Dwarfed

A baby Masai Giraffe, dwarfed by a large Acacia tree in Kenya's Masai Mara.

Masai Giraffe ~ Long Reach

Masai (Maasai, Kilimanjaro) Giraffe reaching across an Acacia bush to get new shoots.

Masai Giraffe ~ Running

A baby Masai Giraffe, running in Kenya's Nairobi National Park, with the Nairobi skyline behind it.

Masai Giraffe ~ Baby, Portrait

Baby Masai Giraffe, walking in Kenya's Masai Mara.

Masai Giraffe ~ Baby Suckling

A baby Masai Giraffe, suckling from its mother in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

Masai Giraffe ~ Mother's Love

Mother and baby Masai Giraffe greeting one another after a day apart.

Masai Giraffe ~ Eating

A head portrait of a Masai Giraffe eating Acacia leaves.

Masai Giraffe ~ 20" Tongue

Masai Giraffe head and neck, eating tender shoots from an Acacia tree.

Masai Giraffe ~ Drinking

A Masai Giraffe drinking from a stream in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.