Two dwarf giraffes astonish scientists


Johannesburg – Reuters
Giraffes are distinguished by their tallness, which enables them to pick up leaves from the top of trees, but scientists have been baffled after finding two dwarf giraffes in two different places on the African continent.
“What our researchers have found on the ground is astonishing,” said Julian Vinacy, co-founder of Giraffe Conservation. “We are very surprised.”
Most giraffes grow to between 4.5 and 6 meters, but in 2018 scientists working with the foundation found a giraffe two meters and 60 centimeters long in Namibia. Three years earlier, they had spotted a giraffe just 2 meters high and 80 centimeters high in a wildlife park in Uganda.
The scientists published their findings in the British Medical Journal at the end of last month. The magazine said that the two giraffes were known to have long necks, but the legs were short and chunky. There is a medical condition known as (skeletal dysplasia) between humans and pets, but the newspaper said that it is rare to see it in wild animals.
Footage filmed by the Ugandan Association showed a giraffe standing on thick, tight-knit legs in the savannah of Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda, while another giraffe was walking behind it with its usual long legs.
Vinici said it will be impossible for giraffes to breed with other normal-sized giraffes.
The number of the tallest mammal in the world has decreased by about 40 percent over the past 30 years to about 111,000 giraffes, so environmental workers classify the four giraffe strains as “vulnerable.”
Vinici said conservation efforts have helped start increasing numbers in the past decade.


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