A couple celebrating their wedding anniversary were on a high-end safari in Tanzania, Africa, when the guided party came across a group of giraffes. Noticing two giraffes sizing each other up, the guide turned off the motor and waited, knowing what was about to happen. The woman debated whether to video the docile, friendly looking giraffes she and her husband have seen many times before. But she did shoot video and the result was shockingly brutal:
“You hear a big crunch,” the woman said in the Animal Planet report. “We couldn’t believe it. We were quite in shock.”
Fortunately the animals made peace before there was a bloody mess and a dead giraffe–a very distinct possibility in these brutal battles.
It begins with two male giraffes sizing each other up, readying to fight over a breeding female. Appropriately enough, this posturing is called necking. Then the fight is on, with blows from the neck making disturbing sounds as if bones are crunching. Fortunately a giraffe’s skeleton structure is designed to take the devastating blows to the neck. But not to other parts of their body.
“The wrecking ball slam delivers enough force to knock the 4,000-pound giraffe off its feet,” the narrator said.
“While their necks aren’t really at risk in these battles, their internal organs are, because they use ossicones [the bony knobs] on tops of their heads as battering rams, and what they’re aiming for is not the neck, it’s the soft underbelly. One perfectly placed blow from an ossicone to an internal organ can have deadly consequences.”
Shaken, the couple and the rest of the tourists were obviously delighted this battle didn’t end that way.