Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata
With its six meters in height, it’s the tallest animal in the world. It feeds on the leaves and the highest branches of the acacias and has a diamond-shaped mantle to blend in with the vegetation. After a gestation of 15 months, a calf two meters tall is born. Its very long neck is made up of only seven vertebrae, like ours and that of almost all mammals. Hunting, poaching and habitat erosion are the main threats to this large mammal, which reaches 25 years of age.
WHO IS HERE AT THE BIOPARCO?
The Bioparco hosts three reticulated giraffes, one of the 9 subspecies existing in the world. Magoma, born in 2011 in the Cologne Zoo (Germany), is the male of the group and arrived at the Bioparco at the age of two. Dalia and Acacia instead, arrived at the park in 2015: they are sisters, and come from the Copenhagen Zoo where they were born respectively in 2012 and 2013.
Gentle-natured, they have forged a strong bond. Acacia is the most sociable of the group. Magoma is more solitary but from time to time it teases the two females, especially during the mating period. They eat a total of 60 kg per day of vegetables, especially hay (and fresh grass when it’s in season) always at their disposal, foliage (of which they are greedy, such as holm oak, English oak, lime and laurel) and fresh twigs, but also flowers, fruits (especially bananas) and vegetables (carrots, onions, chicory, chard, lettuce and celery). Their diet is completed by a mixture of oats, bran, soy, wheat, alfalfa, sugar, minerals, soybean oil and vitamins. Moreover, to satisfy their need for minerals, they draw on blocks of livestock salt.
The Bioparco participates in the conservation of giraffes through the EEP programme for the species coordinated by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza Ex Situ Programme) which includes several actions including captive breeding aimed at obtaining a stock of animals for future releases in the wild, public awareness and scientific research.