This pilot project began establishing a nutritional profile for free-ranging giraffe. The results will be used as a tool to begin assessing the nutritional status of captive giraffe. In October 2004 serum samples were collected opportunistically from seven adult and 17 sub-adult giraffe being anesthetized for different studies.
Seventeen animals were from Double Drift Game Reserve and seven animals were from Kariega Private Game Reserve. The serum samples were analyzed for circulating concentrations of amino acids, fatty acids, lipoproteins, vitamins, and minerals. Information from 15 serum samples collected from anesthetized giraffe in Kruger National Park during April and August 2003 was included in the calcium and phosphorus concentration data. No significant differences were identified between genders. Significant differences between locations were identified for concentrations of certain amino acids, fatty acids, and lipoproteins.
Differences between locations are likely due to different nutrient concentrations of foods and possibly the result of different animal densities forcing different food choices among locations. This pilot project may expand to include changes in circulating nutrient concentrations for free-ranging giraffe as is influenced by other locations, seasonal food availability, and different giraffe subspecies.