Friday, September 14, 2012

An Iconic Wildlife Moment from East Africa

There are some sights, sounds and smells that always remain etched in memory. And the moment you hear it, sense it and connect to it that memory automatically flows from the sub conscious. Such a memory is that of gerenuks standing on their hind legs and reaching out for the leaves in the upper parts of the thorny trees just like how the giraffe do. The only difference being that the giraffe doesn’t need to get on its hind legs to reach that height.

Gerenuks stand on their hind legs to feed on the high thorny bushes
The Gerenuk (giraffe-necked in Somali language) is a slender build, small headed, but pretty tall antelope with slim and long necks that occupy the semi-arid and arid landscapes of East Africa that account for dry thorn bush scrub and desert. They prefer the tender leaves and shoots of the tall acacia trees and thus use their giraffe necks to good effect. Their feeding on leaves while standing on just their hind legs is an iconic East Africa wildlife moment and that can be treasured forever.

P.S. I saw these gerenuks like this at the Samburu National Reserve in North Kenya.

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