RETICULATED GIRAFFEGiraffa camelopardalis reticulata

Conservation Status: Endangered

Loss of habitat, poaching, disease








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General Characteristics:


Pale brown to chestnut patterned with lighter creamy buff


13 – 18 feet


1,200 – 4,350 pounds 

Average Lifespan: 

10-15 years

Captive Lifespan:

20-27 years


Africa, south of Sahara


Arid and dry savanna with trees



Polygynous; year round


15 months

Litter/Clutch Size:



Females 4 years; Males 7 years. 16 – 20 months between births


Selective leaves, especially acacia and combretum


Gregarious.  Loose-knit herds of up to 20 animals.  Males have dominance hierarchy based on seniority.

Teaching Facts:

1. A giraffe’s neck has only 7 vertebrate like most other mammals.

2. The tongue is black and can be up to 18 inches long.

3. Giraffes are poached for meat, skin, and good luck charms. 

4. Each individual giraffe has a unique pattern.

5. The heart is 2 feet long and weighs 25 pounds.  It beats 170x/minute and has two times the blood pressure of humans.


Meet Our Giraffes:


Hulka was born June 16th, 2014, at Binder Park Zoo. As a calf, Hulka was very shy, but he has since formed a great bond with his keepers and is even the star trainer of the herd! Hulka will voluntarily pick up all four feet for hoof trims and also participates in voluntary blood draws if the need arises. Hulka loves visiting the Twiga feeding deck and can be identified by the spot on his right shoulder that looks like a clock set to 9:00.


Rukiya is one of our adult female giraffes here at Binder Park Zoo. She was born on October 24th, 1997, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. She came to Binder Park Zoo in November of 1998. She is the second oldest giraffe here at the zoo and has been here at Binder Park Zoo longer than any of our other giraffes. Rukiya takes some time to warm up to people, but once she does, she forms very close bonds with her keepers. In her habitat, you will usually see her reaching as high as she can to get leaves off the trees. Some of her favorite trees to browse on are sassafras and maple. She loves eating romaine at Twiga, so make sure you come to the zoo to visit her!


Cece was born at Houston Zoo on June 8th, 1997, and came to Binder Park Zoo in May of 1999 when Wild Africa opened. Cece is highly food motivated and is the first one at the feeding deck every morning. She loves to eat romaine, but don’t try to touch her face; she does NOT like that! She has a very calm personality, and we can always count on her to encourage the others into the habitat in the summer. We identify Cece from the other giraffes by her lighter coloring. Her brown spots on her chest have white spots in them.