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Giraffe Crossing II | by Brian Knott Photography
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Giraffe Crossing II

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Ngala Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

 

Next to Impala, the Giraffe was probably the most abundant animal in South Africa. We landed at Hoedspruit airport for our safari. We left the airport for Ngala Game Reserve and about 10 minutes into our drive the first animal we saw was Giraffe. And there were a lot of them - mostly just grazing on the trees alongside the road. They were amazing to watch.

 

The Giraffe is the tallest living animal standing at 16 to 20 feet tall. Their necks alone can reach up to 7 feet long. They primarily eat leaves off of Acacia trees. Acacia trees have large thorns on them but the Giraffe uses its18 inch tough tongue to reach around the thorns and grab the leaves.

 

One of the most noticeable trademarks of the Giraffe (besides it's pattern) are the Ossicones. Ossicones are horn-like (or antler-like) protuberances on their heads. It's one of the best ways to tell sexes apart. In the image above you'll find that they are pointy with tufts of hair on top indicating a female while the males have more of a bald knob like appearance.

 

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Taken on April 8, 2012