Mammal

Gerenuk

Area: 
Tanzania, Kenya, southern Somalia
Habitat: 
Savanna and desert
Food: 
Leaves and young shoots
Size: 
Up to 5 feet long; 3 feet high at the shoulder
Babies: 
For the first week or so, a gerenuk calf stays curled up, hidden from predators.
A gerenuk can go its whole life without drinking water.

 

Heads Up!

 

Gerenuk (Gair-uh-nook) means “giraffe-necked” in the Somali language. This gazelle’s long neck helps it reach and feed on leaves other antelope can’t reach. Gerenuks have another way to get “a-head” of other leaf eaters—they stand upright on their hind legs to reach even higher! When they stand like this, they often use their front legs to pull higher branches down to where they can nibble the leaves.

 

A gerenuk’s big ears are always alert for the rustling sounds of a predatorAn animal that hunts and kills other animals for its food. approaching. But they also listen for the sounds of other gerenuks in their herdA group of animals that travels and feeds together.. If a gerenuk is alarmed, it makes a buzzing sound with its mouth to warn the others. They also whistle when annoyed and make a loud bleating sound when they are in extreme danger.