Year of 2017

Chew Your Food
A gerenuk indigenous to East Africa

The gerenuk may look like a rough draft for a giraffe. At first glance, the bovid resembles many other species of gazelle that populate various regions of Africa. But the gerenuk’s neck is just a bit longer than the others. It uses that neck to reach the leaves higher up on bushes and trees—leaves that other gazelle species can’t reach. A gerenuk will even stand on its hind legs to reach leaves farther up.

The gerenuk Somali: garanuug, also known as the giraffe gazelle, is a long-necked antelope found in the Horn of Africa and the African Great Lakes region. The sole member of the genus Litocranius, the gerenuk was first described by the naturalist Victor Brooke in 1878. It is characterised by its long, slender neck and limbs. The antelope is 80–105 centimetres tall, and weighs between 28 and 52 kilograms. Two types of colouration are clearly visible on the smooth coat: the reddish brown back or the “saddle”, and the lighter flanks, fawn to buff. The horns, present only on males, are lyre-shaped. Curving backward then slightly forward, these measure 25–44 centimetres.
Scientific name: Litocranius walleri
Biological classification: Species
Belongs to: Litocranius
Gerenuk Litocranius walleri distribution map