Gerry is a Giraffe. Giraffes are the tallest animals on planet Earth. They can grow up to 18ft (5.4 metres) tall. People originally thought Giraffes were a cross between a Leopard and a Camel which explains its scientific name Giraffa Camelopardalis, which means Camel marked with a leopard.
Gerry lives in the Savannahs of Africa. Where he roams with his friends amongst the trees, open planes and dense forests. He spends most of his day feeding. He will spend up to 20 hours a day feeding and consume around 100lb (45kg) of vegetation. His favourite leaves come from the Acacia tree.
Giraffes can live up to 25 years old. Gerry is only young at 5 years old. When Gerry was born he was already 6ft tall which is taller than the average man.
Gerry has an extremely long tongue. It measures around 18 inches in length. The length of the tongue helps with removing leaves from the trees and taking off any bugs that may be on his face.
Giraffes like Gerry, don’t need as much sleep as humans. They can get by on just 20 minutes of sleep in a 24 hour period. They can also go several days without water.
The pattern of spots which are found all over the giraffes body (except on their tummies) are unique to each individual giraffe. So the pattern which is found on Gerry won’t be found on any other giraffe.
Giraffes travel in large groups called Herds. When in danger Giraffes can run as fast as 35 mph (56kmph) but only in short bursts.
Giraffes are on the least concerned category on the IUCN red list. Their population numbers are increasing but still have threats from poaching and habitat loss.
If you would like information on how to help protect African wildlife then please visit the Wildlife Conservation Society – https://www.wcs.org/our-work/places/africa