Tourists attacked by giraffe (videos)

Giraffe chases jeep on wildlife safari in South Africa
Video screen capture Henk Roos

Imagine sitting in an open-topped jeep, rumbling along a narrow road through a game park, when a giraffe gives chase, closing in at every turn. Not too surprising that some cuss words can be recognized among the Afrikaans exclamations of the back seat passengers.

Henk Roos comments on the video he posted on YouTube:

After an amazing wedding we went on a game drive and a hormonal Giraffe started to chase our jeep. After about 5km of being chased I started recording the chase on my phone. You can see how he gets closer and closer after every turn. We started to run out of road and the ranger banged on the side of the jeep to scare him off. We started to make a noise and he stopped.

Just in time as we had to make a 4 point turn to continue on the road!

The awkward ruminants rarely pose a threat to humans as they use their well-developed eyesight from their natural vantage point and easily avoid interlopers by early detection.

But male giraffes compete in a hierarchy, relying on several aggressive maneuvers to establish dominance, which has been related to superior reproductive outcomes for the winning males. The video below shows aggressive giraffe behaviors in captivity, including necking -- which can escalate clubbing each other with the bony head swung by the strong neck muscles, nose pointing, and stomping among others:


Source: Summer Spiller on YouTube

In the wild, these aggressive behaviors may be used to run off undesirable neighbors, as is demonstrated in the following video of giraffe vs. lions:

Source: Mike Mills, YouTube

Good thing too: the threatened giraffes need every advantage they can get.

Tags: Africa | Animals | A Picture Is Worth | Conservation