Rare, short giraffes found in Namibia, Uganda

Tim Balk, New York Daily News

Scientists said they’ve stumbled on a stunning sight in two distinct regions of Africa: short giraffes standing under 10 feet.

Giraffes, the tallest land animals on the planet, typically grow to at least 15 feet.

But the two small giraffes, identified in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park and on a farm in central Namibia, exhibited strikingly shortened bone structures, according to a research note published in a British scientific journal.

The six-page note, published Dec. 30, said the Ugandan giraffe was identified in 2015, and the second giraffe was observed in Namibia in 2018.

“It’s fascinating what our researchers out in the field found,” Julian Fennessy, co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, told Reuters. “We were very surprised.”

The giraffes appeared to display skeletal dysplasia, researchers wrote, which is rarely seen in the animal kingdom.

Shorter limbs could reduce the mobility of the mammals. But despite their stature, the giraffes already passed the most perilous periods of their lives, as both made it through their fist year, the report said.