Rothschild's giraffe in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya
© Theo Allofs/Minden Picture
The tallest animal in the world on the longest day of the year
Happy summer! Today marks the first full day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Today also happens to be World Giraffe Day, so we've picked this Rothschild's giraffe dining on tree leaves in Kenya's Lake Nakuru National Park to honor both occasions.
There are just over 100,000 giraffes remaining in the world, and although they're not considered endangered, populations are in decline in some of their native habitats across the savannahs and grasslands of Africa. The long-necked star of our homepage today is a Rothschild's giraffe, a subspecies of the northern giraffe, and one that's classified as 'near threatened.' There were only 1,669 of these giraffes in the wild as of 2016, 45 of them here in Lake Nakuru National Park. Others can be found in Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda. While the giraffes are fenced off within these parks to keep poachers from sneaking in, their natural predators—the hyena, lion, crocodile, and leopard—remain a threat. But at least they're a natural threat.