Giraffe Predators

Giraffe Predators

Giraffe Threats

Many people have the false believe that giraffes are often taken down in the wild by various predators. While they do provide quite a meal, they aren’t so easy to get a hold of. They also have very good instincts and can see much further than other animals out there due to their towering height. They have extremely good instincts so they can be long gone before a predator is able to get too close to them.

The only significant predator of the giraffe are lions. Of course they will try to take on other forms of prey first unless they are extremely hungry. They will look for the young and for the weak giraffes too. Even though they can easily outrun these animals there is more to the story than just that.

Don’t think for an instant though that giraffes are easy prey. In fact, they are very strong and powerful. If they end up kicking a predator it can be severely injured or killed due to the kick connecting with the jaw or the spine. This is why so many predators won’t attack unless they have a clear shot at a young one or they are desperate for a meal and this is their one chance for it. They can also target pregnant females that are ready to give birth so they can’t move as swiftly.

Baby giraffes need a great deal of rest during the first couple of weeks of life and they do this lying down. That makes them a huge target for a variety of predators including wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, and of course lions. The mothers strive to keep their young close to them but young giraffes are curious by nature and that can cause them to end up being victims. You will find that these predators have to try to get the legs of the giraffes tangled up so that they will fall to the ground. They also try to attack when they are drinking so that their necks are at ground level.

Approximately 75% of all young giraffes don’t survive to adulthood due to becoming the victim of predators. That makes it one of the highest mortality rates among animals out there. If a young giraffe is going to be eaten though it will generally occur when it is very young. These animals seem to develop a very deep instinct early on about predators. They are very tall by the time they have a year old so that makes them less likely to be an easy take down in the eyes of predators.

For the giraffes though all is not peaceful in their natural habitat. The worst predators for them are humans. The local villagers tend to find them a great source of meat when their others are scarce. While they meat isn’t the best tasting there is plenty of it to go around from just one giraffe. They also believe that the tails of them are very lucky so they will keep them.

In some villages those tails are used to create jewelry, collectibles for tourists, and even flyswatters for the huge mosquitoes out there. The hides are spectacular due to their thickness and the design of the different spots that each giraffe has. For many of these animals they become nothing but the victim of a trophy hunt for those that want to say they have killed an exotic animal.

While most areas of Africa make it illegal to harm or to kill a giraffe due to their protective status it occurs on a regular basis. There isn’t enough enforcement to get out there and really make such penalties stick. Villagers are desperate to make money so they will do what they can in order to survive.