Cameleopard - Behavior and Ecology - Mortality and Health

Mortality and Health

Giraffes have an unusually long lifespan compared to other ruminants, up to 25 years in the wild. Because of their size, eyesight and powerful kicks, adult giraffes are usually not subject to predation. However, they can fall prey to lions and are regular prey for them in Kruger National Park. Nile crocodiles can also be a threat to giraffes when they bend down to drink. Calves are much more vulnerable than adults, and are additionally preyed on by leopards, spotted hyenas and wild dogs. A quarter to a half of giraffe calves reach adulthood.

Some parasites feed on giraffes. They are often hosts for ticks, especially in the area around the genitals, which has thinner skin than other areas. Tick species that commonly feed on giraffes are those of genera Hyalomma, Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus. Giraffes may rely on red-billed and yellow-billed oxpeckers to clean them of ticks and alert them to danger. Giraffes host numerous species of internal parasite and are susceptible to various diseases. They were victims of the (now eradicated) viral illness rinderpest.

Read more about this topic:  Cameleopard, Behavior and Ecology

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