San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Are Open!

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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos



Perhaps one of the oddest-looking of the antelope is the gerenuk. It has a slender body, impossibly tall, thin legs, and a long neck. The name gerenuk (pronounced gair eh nuk) comes from a Somali word meaning giraffe-necked. A fitting name, indeed!

Giraffes feed at the top of the trees in the African savanna. Other antelope graze around the bottom. The gerenuk gets the good stuff right in the middle by standing completely erect on its hind legs—an amazing sight!

Only male gerenuks have stout, ringed horns. Both sexes have scent glands used for leaving messages for others. You can see one of these scent-marking tools by looking at a gerenuk’s face. In front of each eye is a pre-orbital gland that the animal can use to mark its territory.

When strolling through the African Woods, our long-necked gerenuks are sure to grab your attention!

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