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Safari Africa Animal Fact Sheet
GERENUK
Litocranius walleri

Range:
Eastern Africa from Somalia to Kenya. The word Gerenuk comes from the Somali language, meaning "giraffe-necked." The long neck of the Gerenuk is its most distinguishing feature. Gerenuk will stand on their hind legs and reach with their long necks to eat elevated foliage that many other hoofed mammals are unable to reach.

Gerenuks live in small groups, which may consist of related females and their young, in bachelor groups of males or as solitary males. The female groups wander over a home range of 1 to 2 square miles, passing in and out of male territories.

When ready to give birth, the female leaves the group and goes to a secluded spot. The adaptation to year-round browsing may permit gerenuks to bear young at any time instead of just before the rainy season, as is the practice for grazing animals. During the first weeks of its life or until it can keep up with adults, the baby gerenuk spends its time hidden in the bush while its mother feeds. She returns to the fawn three or four times a day to suckle it, carefully cleaning or eating its waste to leave no trace of scent.

Habitat loss and fragmentation by humans are the biggest threats to gerenuk populations.
Habitat: Savanna and dry desert.
Diet: Leaves, young shoots of trees and thorny shrubs.
Status: Conservation Dependent.
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Weight: 65-115 lbs.
Head & Body Length: 56-64 in.
Lifespan: 6-7 years in the wild, 10-12 in captivity.
Reproduction & Offspring: A mother carries her offspring for about seven months. They are born weighing about 6.5 lbs at birth.

 

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