Masai Giraffe

The giraffe species we have at the Houston Zoo, the Masai giraffe, has less than 40,000 individuals remaining in the wild. Of the 9 subspecies of giraffes, there are three that have populations less than 1,000 individuals, as estimated by Giraffe Conservation Foundation. These include West African, Rothschild, and Nubian giraffes.

  • Scientific Name: Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi
  • Range: Tanzania and southern Kenya (this subspecies)
  • Status in the Wild: Stable
  • Location in the Zoo: African Forest
  • Cool Animal Fact Giraffe ‘horns’ aren’t actually horns at all – they are called ossicones, which are formed by cartilage and covered in skin. When babies are born, their ossicones don’t quite stand up all the way – they start standing up straight as they grow.