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The gerenuk, Litocranius walleri, also known as the Waller’s gazelle, is a long-necked species of antelope found in dry thorn bush scrub and desert in East Africa, from Somalia, Djibouti and eastern Ethiopia through northern and eastern Kenya to northeastern Tanzania. The word gerenuk (pronounced with a hard g) comes from the Somali language, meaning “giraffe-necked”. Gerenuk are sometimes also called the giraffe-necked antelope. It is the sole member of the genus Litocranius.

Gerenuks have a relatively small head for their body, but their eyes and ears are proportionately large. Only the males have horns and they also have a more muscular neck than females. Both sexes have ruddy brown coats with a paler underbelly . They have short, black tipped tails. The gerenuk is easily recognizable from its distinctive long and skinny neck which can be elongated further if need be for activities like feeding off the taller brambles and undergrowth of the desert. It also has remarkably long slender legs which are another great advantage as they can gallop away into the distance at very high speeds from any form of predator trying to attack. However, because of the extreme length of their legs, they can be more liable to fracture of the leg bone. There have been numerous occasions in which gerenuks actually snapped their long legs due to tripping and stumbling along the ground. From head to tail, the gerenuk is around 150 centimetres (59 in) long. Males are a little taller than females, at 89–105 cm (35–41 in) tall, with the females typically 80–100 cm (31–39 in) tall. The male is also heavier than the female, weighing 45 kilograms (99 lb), while females weigh around 30 kg (66 lb). Many breeders of gerenuks and zoologists have described gerenuks as being extremely humble animals, always helping fellow gerenuks. In ancient African tribal tales, the gerenuk has often been crowned ‘Queen of Humbleness’. (Source: Wikipedia).

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