- Giraffes are a recognized prey species for African lions but they can present a considerable challenge for the big cat.
- Giraffes can reach 37 miles an hour and leap over obstacles, similar to the maximum running speed of a lion but they can only keep it up for short distances.
- They have a kick defense that consists of a front-leg chop kick and a backward kick of the hind legs.
The main thing that strikes you watching this video is how incredible it is that the lion gets back up! In the below clip, we get to see a lioness slammed onto her back by a racing giraffe and then stamped on and kicked repeatedly in the ensuing chaos! It’s a perfect illustration of the risks that predators have to take to secure some prey!
How Large Are Giraffes Compared to Lions?
Giraffes are a recognized prey species for African lions but they can present a considerable challenge for the big cat. A male can be 11 feet high and weigh up to 3075 pounds. Female giraffes can be nine and a half feet high and weigh up to 2000 pounds.
Compare these figures to a lioness. They are a maximum of three and a half feet tall (although they can be over six feet long). They weigh between 300 and 400 pounds. That said, they are the largest carnivore in Africa and are muscular with powerful limbs, retractable sharp claws, and sharp teeth.
How Do Giraffes Defend Themselves
If their sheer size is not enough to put a predator off, a giraffe has a few defense mechanisms up their sleeves. Firstly, they are always on alert. Giraffes mainly sleep standing up and have a shallow sleep with their eyes half open. Their deep sleep lasts for only five or 10 minutes. Giraffes are also very well camouflaged and not that easy to spot amongst the shadows cast by tree branches. Their eyesight is excellent, they have large eyes and it is thought that they can see things far in the distance.
If they are chased by a predator, they can run very fast! Giraffes have a gallop that is similar to that of a rabbit – the hind feet stay outside of the forelegs, so they don’t trip over. These guys can reach 37 miles an hour and leap over obstacles. Interestingly, that is similar to the maximum running speed of a lion but they can only keep it up for short distances.
They generally stay in large groups, which makes it harder for a predator to attack but if they do, they have their ultimate defense, the karate-style kick. Giraffes have a fabulous kick defense that consists of a front-leg chop kick and a backward kick of the hind legs. It did the job on this lioness for sure!
Watch the Amazing Footage Below!
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