Giraffes are certainly some of my favorite animals. I have always loved these exotics creatures, tallest terrestrial animal, and among the most beautiful and intriguing animals the world has ever known.They have fascinated people all over the world since ancient times. The beloved Akeem, a reticulated giraffe, also known as a Somali giraffe, native to Africa, was born in the Denver Zoo on April 29, 1987 and moved to the Oregon Zoo in June 1988. Over 16’ tall, he was 24 when he died in 2012 of old age after a wonderful life as a well-known ambassador for his species. Giraffes are considered especially long lived for ruminants, and can live up to 25 years in the wild.
Somali giraffes are native to northeastern Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia. They thrive in savannas, grasslands and open woodlands, browsing especially on the twigs of the Acacia, myrrh, and bushwillow trees and shrubs. Like other ruminants, their stomachs have four chambers and their intestines measure over 250’ in length! They eat fruits as well as leaves and twigs. The average weight of males is about 3,500 pounds and females weigh in at around 1,800 pounds.
A giraffe’s heart can weigh more than 25 pounds, which beats rather fast at about 150 beats per minute. Their neck vertebrae can be nearly a foot tall.
An International Traveling Exhibition of Endangered Species
Dedicated to the Children of the World by Calley O'Neill with Rama the Elephant
AN EPIC JOURNEY OF ART AND SOUL FOR THE EARTH
RAMA: AMBASSADOR FOR THE ENDANGERED ONES
Speaking Passionately on Behalf of Those who Cannot Speak