Giraffe  (Camelopardalis giraffa ).—This strange looking animal has the head of the horse, the neck and hoof of the stag, the callous breast of the camel, and the spotted skin of the panther. On its forehead it has two horny excrescences. It attains a height of sixteen feet.

The giraffe lives in the wooded plains of central Africa, feeds on the leaves of trees, and is generally seen in small troops. Its rapidity is extraordinary; not even the Arabian horse can overtake it. It is often attacked by the lion, which lies in wait for it near the rivers and springs, where it comes to drink.


(Okapia johnstoni )
A relative of the giraffe, found in the forests of Africa

The giraffes of equatorial Africa (family Giraffidæ) are closely related to the deer. They are hornless, but from the top of the skull project two protuberances, several inches in length, which answer to the horn-cores of the deer, but carry no antlers, and are permanently covered with hairy skin; between them is a third shorter protuberance of the skull. A few years ago it was discovered that there existed in the dense forests of the lower Congo valley an animal of this family, but smaller and more antelopelike in body, and without the towering characteristics of the giraffe, called by the Pygmies of that district "okapi" or "o'api." It is chestnut in color, with yellowish cheeks and the legs marked with wavy, whitish stripes. It is perhaps not rare, but is exceedingly difficult to obtain in the dense jungle it inhabits.