Giraffe Carcass | The Bottom of the Food Chain

EcoTraining instructor Tayla McCurdy came across this giraffe carcass near to EcoTraining Pridelands Conservancy this past week, and she has put down in her words what this experience was like and all the other creatures that are reaping the benefits.

A few days ago, a Giraffe carcass was discovered on a property adjacent to Pridelands.

You’re probably thinking how or what on earth could kill an animal that quite literally towers over every other terrestrial species on earth. Well, there are some prides of lion that specialize in taking down these giants but that was not the case for this fella. Nobody can say for certain, but it is suspected that this individual lost a battle to an even bigger and more powerful giraffe bull.

It’s not uncommon for male giraffe to compete for dominance, usually what one sees is a practice session of necking, whereby young males tend to form a pretzel around one another. They are still uncoordinated and lack technique, this of course comes with experience. However, for an aged bull, this is no game and we have been seeing a fair amount of mature giraffe bulls hanging around recently.

So, with there being no evidence of foul play from any predators, it has been suggested that a clash of the giants occurred and one had succumbed to its injuries.

Giraffe carcass - Giraffe Carcass - The Bottom of the Food Chain

When we first arrived, a young lioness had been feeding on the carcass for a day or two. She kept the vultures at bay, they were gawking from above, perched on a dead tree. The next morning we returned, no lioness but a few hyenas scavenging on the carcass. The vultures were allowed to join in on the feast now as well, that is, as long as they gave the hyenas some space – otherwise they were promptly chased off.

That evening, once the sun had set, a nervous scrappy looking male lion appeared from the shadows. He fed for a short while before moving off, a wise decision for a nomadic lion especially hanging around in someone else’s territory.

We have decided to visit the carcass every day to see what creatures of the wild visit the area.
Instructor Tayla McCurdy will then create a video about her week with the deceased giraffe, so keep an eye out for that – should be entertaining!

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Giraffe, Hyena or even Vultures, take a look at our various Wildife Quizzies.