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Giraffe mother–calf relationships in the miombo woodland of Katavi National Park, Tanzania

Both predator pressure and habitat type influence mother–offspring relationship. Giraffe’s herd size and herd composition can be influenced by these two environmental factors. We sought to uncover whether predator pressure and habitat type also have an impact on giraffe mother–calf proximity and time spent together. We studied giraffe mother–calf relationships to compare mother–calf dyadic relationships in dense woodland with those reported in open woodlands. We collected data from three calves (within the first six months after birth) and their mothers

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The effects of increased hay-to-grain ratio on behavior, metabolic health measures, and fecal bacterial communities in four Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

We evaluated whether increasing the hay-to-grain ratio offered to Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo would reduce oral stereotypies and alter feeding behaviors, maintain or increase serum calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, decrease serum insulin-to-glucose ratio and salivary insulin, and alter fecal bacterial community structure. Giraffe transitioned to a ∼90:10 hay-to-grain ratio in even increments over 8 weeks. A ration balancer was added during the seventh week of transition to ensure proper mineral and nutrient balance. We collected (1) behavioral

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Suckling and allosuckling behavior in wild giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi)

Allosuckling has been reported in many mammalian species. In giraffe, allosuckling has been observed in captivity, and the milk theft hypothesis with reciprocity is regarded as the likeliest explanation for this behavior. However, reports of such behavior in the wild remain sparse to non-existent. Here, we studied the suckling and allosuckling behaviors of three nursing giraffe and their offspring (two calves and one juvenile) for 32 days in the Katavi National Park, Tanzania. In total, we observed 56 suckling bouts,

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Using claw marks to study lion predation on giraffes of the Serengeti

Although lions Panthera leo are the main predators of the giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, interactions between these species are rarely observed directly. As a consequence, little is known about the effects of lions on giraffe mortality and behavior. We test patterns of lion predation on Masai giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi using a new methodology: lion claw marks observable on the skin of live giraffes. We studied 702 individually known giraffes in 3 non-neighboring areas of Serengeti National Park, Tanzania between August

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Diagnosis and treatment of a fractured third phalanx in a Masai giraffe (Giraffe camelopardalis tippelskirchi)

A 10 yr old male Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) presented with acute right forelimb lameness. Radiographs revealed a fracture of the medial claw of the distal phalanx penetrating into the distal interphalangeal joint. The giraffe was sedated while it was standing in a chute, and a wooden “hoof block” was applied to the lateral claw of the same limb. The animal was no longer lame 3 days after the procedure. Subsequent treatments included vitamin E, phenylbutazone, and glycosaminoglycans. For

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Failure of a Chemical Spray to Significantly Reduce Stereotypic Licking in a Captive Giraffe

The repetitive licking of nonfood substrates is a common stereotypic behavior in captive giraffes. In this study we attempted to reduce stereotypic licking in a Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) by applying a bitter chemical (marketed as a taste deterrent to prevent the unwanted licking and chewing of substrates) to the areas of the fence licked most frequently by the giraffe. We hypothesized that this treatment would reduce stereotypic licking. However, there were no significant overall changes in stereotypic licking

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Factors affecting habitat use by Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi L) in Athi-Kapiti Plains ecosystem, Kenya

Increased human settlement, land use changes, loss of migration corridors, habitat loss and fragmentation have affected habitat use by Masai giraffe in Athi-Kapiti plains ecosystem. The purpose of the study was to assess the factors affecting habitat use by Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) in the Athi-Kapiti plains ecosystem and to generate information for giraffe sustainable conservation and management. The specific objectives of the study were to assess past and present giraffe population, assess the relative abundance of giraffe food

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Giraffe Skin Disease (GSD): Epidemiology of an Emerging Disease

Diseases can greatly impact wildlife populations by causing temporary or permanent decreases in abundance.  Pathogens also can interact with other factors such as habitat loss, climate change, and overexploitation to cause local extinctions. The iconic Maasai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) is the national animal of the United Republic of Tanzania. The range of giraffe once covered most of Africa, but is presently discontinuous and much reduced as a result of the rinderpest pandemic, poaching, human settlement, deforestation, and expansion of

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Does illegal hunting skew Serengeti wildlife sex ratios?

In this article we show that the population of Serengeti Masai giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi is extremely female biased, particularly among newborns. Our results suggest that this might be a response to heavy illegal hunting and the continuous disturbance such activities cause on giraffes, as sex ratios were more female skewed in all age groups in areas with high risk of illegal hunting. Giraffes were also more vigilant and fled at longer distances in such areas. Such female skewed sex ratios have

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Not all ants are equal: obligate acacia ants provide different levels of protection against mega-herbivores

In obligate ant–plant mutualisms, the asymmetric engagement of a single plant species with multiple ant species provides the opportunity for partners to vary in their behaviour. Variation in behaviour has implications for the interactions with third-party species such as herbivores. This study assessed the effect of obligate ant mutualists (Crematogaster mimosae, Crematogaster nigriceps and Tetraponera penzigi) inhabiting the African ant-acacia (Acacia drepanolobium) on three mega-herbivore browsers: the Maasai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi), the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa c. reticulata) and the

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