Southern gerenuk

Litocranius walleri

Gerenuks are gazelles that live in dry, brushy areas of Somalia, eastern Ethiopia and Kenya. Gerenuk means "giraffe-necked" in Somali; it is named this for its long neck.

Gerenuk behavior and facts

  • Gerenuks browse on leaves, flowers and fruits. Their long neck is an adaptation that allows them to reach higher in trees than other gazelles and antelopes. They do not need to drink from water holes; the plants they eat provide sufficient water.
  • They are shy. When threatened, a gerenuk may stand very still behind a bush or tree and slowly creep away with its head lowered, or gallop toward safety.
  • They live in small groups of related females and their young, or in bachelor groups.

Vital statistics

  • Height: 28 to 37 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 62 to 115 pounds
  • Males have 14- to 17-inch-long horns

Status

Near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Gerenuks, the Oregon Zoo and you

Gerenuks live in the zoo's Africa Savanna exhibit.

In the wild, habitat loss and hunting are the biggest threats to gerenuks.