Difference in similarity


We all know the giraffe, the tallest living terrestrial animal with the long neck and legs, distinct body coat pattern, the long tongue and turfy tail. Some also have horn like protrusions know an ossicones.

Giraffes are native to Africa but can now be found in captivity in many zoos around the world. They are known to occur from Chad in Central Africa to South Africa. They inhabit arid areas such as savannas, grasslands and open woodlands. They feed on young leaves and shoots but preferring the Acacia. They also eat grasses. In the zoo they are fed alfalfa hay and grains. 
Giraffes are known to go for weeks without water, obtaining it from dew and their food.
There is only one species of giraffe with nine subspecies which are: Nubian giraffe, Reticulated giraffe, Angolan giraffe, Kordofan giraffe, Masai giraffe, Rothschild’s giraffe, South African giraffe, Rhodesian and West African giraffe. 
In my beautiful country Kenya, there are three subspecies which I have tried to describe: the Reticulated, Rothschild’s and the Masai giraffes. By use of pictures from the internet, I try to show the different body coat patterns, describe threats, distribution in Kenya and the places you can visit to see the beautiful mammals
 
On the left is the Masai giraffe, middle is the Reticulated giraffe and on the right is the Rothchild’s giraffe.
From the picture above, you can distinctly tell the difference in the three by body coat pattern. 
The Reticulated giraffe also know as the Somali giraffe is native to Somali, southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya in the  arid range lands. It is smaller than all other sub species and has a life span of 25 years in the wild, 28 years in captivity. 
  The coat consists of tan to deep brown polygons separated by clean white lines. The coat darkens with age.
 Visit Samburu National Reserve in Kenya to see the Reticulated giraffe as shown below. Read more here.
 
Reticulated giraffe.
The Rothschild’s giraffe is also known as the Baringo giraffe and is one of the most endangered giraffe with a few hundreds left in the wild. 
It is found in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda and has a life expectancy of 20-30 years.
It’s body pattern is pale and thickset, with the patches being less jagged. Its main distiction other than its coat is its being unmarked below the knees thus being white in colour.

The Giraffe Center has a breeding programme for this endangered species. In Kenya, you can see ,feed and have it kiss you at Giraffe Center (Karen), or see it in the wild while visiting Lake Nakuru National.
  In Uganda you can visit Murchison Fall National Park.  
Read more about the Rothchild’s research and conservation projects here.  
 
Rothchild’s giraffe.
 
Visit the Giraffe center in Nairobi and feed the Rothchild’s giraffe.
 
 
Masai giraffe also known as Kilimanjaro is the largest of them all. Its found in Kenya and Tanzania. It has a short tassel of hair on it tail and its body pattern are irregular star shaped patches. It is buff coloured  below the knee and has a life span of 25-30 years. 
  
Visit Tsavo National Park and Maasai Mara National park to see this giraffe. 
Masai giraffe
The main threats affecting the giraffe is habitat loss and its hunting for bush-meat  Poaching is also a main threat due to demand for their beautiful skin and hair.
Their size is advantageous as they have few predators but fall prey to lions and crocodiles when they are out drinking water.
   The difference is always in the similarity.
Credits: Google images, the collages done using picasa.

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