How extraordinary are these gazelles? They are called Gerenuks which means Giraffe Necked in Somali (in Swahili they are known as Swala Twiga – which means Gazelle Giraffes). They are found in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Somalia and Northern Kenya.

Apparently they have an extra vertebrae in their backs which enables them to stand up on their hind legs to reach leaves as high as 6 to 8 feet up. Very well adapted to their environment they get all the moisture they need from the food they eat. They tend not to graze but seek out leaves and buds.

They also make a variety of noises which include whistling, buzzing and bleating!

I  saw a picture of one in Africa Geographic (beautiful magazine) and then looked them up – hence this post.

A Gerenuk (image from

Gerenuks eating (image from Bank Barn Travel)

One response to “Gerenuks

  1. I have seen photos but didn’t know they had an extra vertebrae. That’s is cool!

Let me know what you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s