In the wild
Easy to spot, these are often mistaken for elephants. It is not difficult to see why when you see them side-by-side, but if you look carefully at the giraffe’s hoof, you can often determine (in the males at least) a small difference in the cleft forelock by comparison with the elephant’s foot.
Be warned, though; this will sometimes be a trick of the light and you might actually be holding an elephant’s foot. Having an elephant’s foot in your hand is as lucky as a rabbit’s, except it’s not lucky at all and is also deadly dangerous. Release and run – fast! – towards the shelter of those trees with the little mewling puddy-cats (they’re called leopards, more on them later).
Did you know?
They used to hang miscreant giraffes, but this practice was later outlawed, on the grounds that it didn’t work – giraffes, you see, have infinitely extensible necks, owing to the elastic nature of the vertebrae in the upper half of the neck.
Later, a group of pioneers inspired by Stephen Seagal/Jean Claude Van Damme movies theorized that a short sharp twist to the giraffe’s head would bring it clean off the neck – in fact, this had the effect of bolstering the natural springiness in the neck: the rebounding effect resulted in the deaths of four of these heroes in short succession.
In these more enlightened times, and with the benefit of years of animal research, errant giraffes are instead either sent as camels to the Arabian Peninsula, or remain within the community having had their heads soldered to their ass using a bone welder. It’s tough, but it teaches them a lesson and they act as a deterrent to other would-be naughty giraffes in the broader community.