Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Gerenuk

Antelopes could be a common animal to behold when you're on a safari or at least when you're watching the Animal Planet. But have you had the chance to get to know this guy?

I meant the brown one with horns. It's called "gerenuk" or the Litocranius walleri, it is also known as Waller's Gazelle found in East Africa. It is a type of antelope or gazelle with striking long necks compared to the ones mentioned. They also have small heads with big eyes and ears that's almost inappropriate for their bodies. But overall, face alone, makes them look like a cute  and innocent llama. The males can weigh up to 100 lbs. while females are not more than 70 lbs.

Gerenuk is from a Somali language that means "giraffe-necked". Thus, another unique gift from mother nature to help them reach food from tall bushes, by standing up and stretching their necks, just like a giraffe. Their diet consists mainly of tender leaves but they also eat shoots, buds, flowers, fruits and stems from vines. 

Gerenuks get enough water from their diet, which make them survive without grass or water even when roaming in dry areas of Africa. Their lifespan is estimated to be around eight years in the wild and thirteen or more years in captivity. 

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