How Long do Giraffes Live?

Adult and baby giraffes.jpgGiraffes are very tall, powerful creatures. They feed on leaves from the top of high trees with ease. They are adept at escaping from their enemies and they can live for about 25 years in the wild.

Likelihood of Living to Adulthood

In most cases, giraffes are very social animals. A herd of about 40 giraffes is mostly composed of females and calves with several bulls, or male giraffes mixed in. The young male giraffes move together with the older males and are more solitary and love to live alone.

While in captivity, a giraffe can live for about 28 years or even longer. Many giraffes do not make it into adulthood because more than half of all calves are killed by hyenas, lions, and other predators within the first year after birth.

Protective Features

Giraffes have different features that help them stay safe from predators. For one thing, they are fast, tall, and very strong. This means that it does not have many enemies. The major predators of the giraffe are hyenas, Nile crocodiles, and lions.

With the help of its speed, a giraffe is able to get away from such predators. A giraffe can run close to 30 mph and this makes it easier to escape its enemies. However, the giraffe can only keep up with this speed for a short distance. Once it gets tired, a lion can try to knock it down by taking out its long legs.

Another great feature that helps the giraffe survive in the wild is its long neck. The long neck provides the giraffe with a good view of the terrain and therefore it can spot lions and hyenas at a distance. The giraffe is also very powerful. With just one swift kick, it can crush the spine or skull of any attacking lion.

Risk of Endangerment

Although giraffes may seem as though they are at a low risk of becoming endangered, some species are shrinking in number. The Uganda giraffes, for example, are becoming smaller in number. Only 445 giraffes live in the wild. This is because they are hunted for meat and habitat destruction is also becoming a threat.