I love giraffes. Maybe it’s because I’m tall or maybe it’s because baby giraffes look adorable wobbling on their long legs, but giraffes are some of my favorite animals.
June 21 is World Giraffe Day. It is only fitting that these animals that are not only the tallest of all living land animals, but also have the longest necks, are celebrated on the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
World Giraffe Day is an annual event initiated by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. It is meant to raise support and create awareness of the challenges these animals face in the wild. Giraffes are widespread throughout Africa, and while there are only about 90,000 giraffes remaining in the wild, currently their status is not in immediate danger.
Fun facts about giraffes:
- Both humans and giraffes have the same number of vertebrae in their necks.
- Giraffes have the largest eyes of any land mammal. Their long eyelashes keep out ants and sense thorns on the branches of the trees from which they graze.
- Giraffes have one of the highest blood pressures of all animals, due to their height. It takes a lot of work to keep their blood pumping through their necks.
- A giraffe’s skin coloring provides excellent camouflage, as it is several different patches of variable size and color.
I was surprised, but happy, when I read that although there are only about 90,000 giraffes remaining in the wild, that they are in no danger of becoming extinct. It is estimated that over 99% of all species that ever lived are extinct. Hopefully giraffes will be around for a long time.