Watch Two Massive Giraffes Fight By Using Their Necks Like a Pair of Nunchucks

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: July 10, 2023
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Have you ever seen two giraffes fight? Not only is it hilarious to watch, but it’s also entertaining and unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s relatively rare to see these animals fighting each other, as they’re relatively docile. 

The giraffe is currently the tallest living thing on Earth, with males reaching a maximum height of 11 feet at the shoulder and roughly 18 feet at the highest point of the horns. Although their somewhat short back has vertebrae of an average size, the neck’s vertebrae can expand to a length of around 11 inches. 

Giraffes still have the typical seven neck vertebrae present in most mammals, including ourselves, but their lengths are not only longer than ours but also bend much more. Strong muscles and stronger ligaments that anchor to the vertebrae between the shoulder blades stabilize the neck, creating a bump where the back and neck converge.

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You may curious why we’re giving you so much information about the neck of a giraffe when we simply want to show you a video of two males fighting. Well, these creatures fight in a unique way.

Northern Giraffe

©Jane Rix/

Giraffes Fight For Dominance 

Males will wrestle each other in “necking” matches during their lives, in which they will stand next to one another, whip their necks violently, and strike one another with their large heads.

Nevertheless, because their “horns” are blunt, these encounters are more like tests of endurance and stamina than actual fights. They typically finish with the weaker fighter conceding, and injuries are extremely rare. 

Instead, the participants will frequently engage in some intimate touching and nurturing afterward, which can occasionally progress to sexual activity.

Interestingly, it has been commonly observed that male giraffes on the grasslands indulge in more unplanned homosexual conduct than almost any other animal. Only male giraffes engage in necking, and it doesn’t have too much to do with seducing female giraffes. It determines who will have the chance to mate with consenting females.

The video below shows two bull giraffes battling it out with their necks. One of the comments on the video reads, “I love how they basically have to stop for a few seconds bc they’re dizzy then it’s back to the fight.” It’s true! 

Another person says, “I’m shocked that neither of them broke their neck doing this. They look so fragile but they’re so tough.” Although giraffes can break their necks like any other animal, remember that necking is not intentionally violent. 

Just like humans, giraffes can experience neck pain, which we don’t doubt occurs after a bout of necking. Do you want to see it for yourself? Keep on scrolling! 

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The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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