Two giraffes square off in ‘swordfight,’ using necks to deliver blows with horns

Two male giraffes fight for dominance with a technique called necking.

Two male giraffes fight for dominance with a technique called necking. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Giraffes aren't always the kind and gentle animals as some may think, especially when they fight neck to neck in a sort of swordfight while battling for dominance.

Actually, they can be downright vicious.

Two males participate in this wildlife display called necking, and it was in full view of tourists recently at Kruger National Park where Greg James Wade captured amazing video of the scene:

"People tend to think of giraffes as nice, docile, sweet animals, and they generally are," large predator expert Dave Salmoni said in an ABC News report a few years ago. "But they're designed for fighting."

They use their necks as swords. Necking is used to establish dominance with the winner taking the girl.

Necking can be low intensity when the two combatants rub and lean against each other with the one being able to hold itself upright, winning the battle.

Or it can be quite brutal with the two giraffes spreading their front legs and swinging their necks at each other as they land body blows with their horns until one gives up.

In this instance, two males fought it out, while three other giraffes stood idly by, eating from the shrubbery. Fortunately, giraffes don't typically fight to the death, and most battles don't lead to serious injury.

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