Masai Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi

Marked with jagged spots, the Masai Giraffe, also known as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe, is the largest subspecies of giraffe. As the tallest animals in the world, giraffes have a clear view of their surroundings on the African savanna. With excellent eyesight, they often detect predators and threats from a greater distance than do other animals.

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Giraffes also use their extended reach to forage on leaves inaccessible to all other savanna dwellers except elephants.

  • A foot-and-a-half long tongue can nimbly strip leaves and fruits from a branch.
  • Thick saliva protects the giraffe’s tongue from the thorns of its favorite food source, the acacia tree.
  • Giraffes spend much of the day feeding and can eat up to 75 pounds a day.
  • Weighing up to 25 pounds, a large heart is necessary to pump enough blood to the brain. An average human’s heart weighs less than one pound.

Learn more: The Cincinnati Zoo supports research and conservation of Maasai giraffe in Tanzania.

Fact File

Species @ Risk Image
where to see themWhere to see them: Dobsa Giraffe Ridge
heightHeight: 13 to 17 ft
weightWeight: 1,210 to 4,250 lbs
life expectancyLife Expectancy: 13 yrs
habitatHabitat: Savanna and woodland
dietDiet: Leaves, shoots, and fruits
exclamationRisk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Lower risk)