Southern Gerenuk

Litocranius walleri walleri

Animals of Africa Back
Gerenuks have a giraffe-like neck that is long and slender and in the Somali language “gerenuk” means giraffe neck They also have a small head, but large eyes and ears in proportion to their body making them the most recognizable antelope. Only males have horns that curve backwards and upwards.  

Gerenuks are famous for their feeding posture, resting their forelegs on the branches of the tree while they stand on their hind legs to reach up for the leaves. Because gerenuks are well adapted to the arid conditions of their region, they do not need to drink water; all hydration comes from the leaves they ingest. 

Male gerenuks are generally found singly, except when attempting to mate, while females are found in single-sex groups of up to 10 individuals.  Due to the limited supply of food in the region, males are territorial, marking their territories by rubbing the glands near their eyes on trees and shrubs. Dominant males with territories may enter another male’s territory without displays of aggression or defensiveness ensuing; however, young males without territories are not welcomed. Groups of females are also tolerated in a male’s territory.


Leaves, young shoots of trees and thorny shrubs

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