Can You Own A Pet Giraffe?

Do giraffes make good pets? Obviously not, but many people are interested in this question nonetheless. So this article is all about giraffe sales and everything you need to know about the exotic animals.

Pet Giraffe

I can understand that owning a pet giraffe in imagination can be tempting. While some difficult aspects like the size are easy to understand, others can be overlooked.

Is It Legal To Own A Giraffe As Pet?

In many countries like the US or the UK owning a pet giraffe is illegal for private persons. If you really want to own one legally there is no way around getting a license.

The process of getting such a license is very effortful and expensive. You will have to ensure that you can meet all the needs of giraffes. Additionally, you have to ensure that the giraffes, as well as humans, are safe.

In most cases, this is done through a very massive and sturdy fence.

Usually, only zoos and safari parks have enough resources and are able to get the permit.

Do Giraffes Make Good Pets?

Tower of giraffes

The mere size of a giraffe alone disqualifies the animals for many people. Have in mind that the wild animals can grow 20 feet tall and bring more than 2,600 lbs on the scale.

With such measures, even everyday tasks like feeding and brushing become a real hassle. You better be free from giddiness and get a good latter before you buy a giraffe.

You will also need to think big when it comes to accommodation and food.

The Right Giraffe Habitat

Giraffes live in the plains of mid-continent Africa so they like a warm and fairly dry climate and need lots of space.

In most countries, you will need to offer a heated shed at least during the winter months. To be suitable for giraffes, the shed needs to be as high as a two-story building.

But that is not everything, of course, you will need a high fence to hinder your giraffes to run away. The fence is also necessary to protect you, friends and neighbors from the animals.

Last but not least, giraffes like deer, zebras and most wild animals need a lot of space to roam around. I think you should plan at least for one acre as you will end up with more than one giraffe.

Dietary Needs Of Giraffes

Giraffes are ruminants that eat a lot of different leaves and grains. Don’t be surprised if one individual eats more than 75 lbs of leaves daily. 

So if you want to remain your trees, you should be prepared to buy fresh foliage very often. 

Additionally, giraffes browse for food in the crones of trees and you will have to cater their food to them at the same altitude. 

That alone can be a tremendous amount of work and you have to be able to pay for all that food as well.

Social Needs Of Giraffes

Giraffes are social creatures that live in towers – that’s what giraffe flocks are called. Typically the towers consist of appr. 30 individuals. Most of them are females while males are switching between different groups.

You surely can’t keep such a social animal alone in captivity if you want a happy pet.

How Long Do Pet Giraffes Live?

In the wild giraffes live between 20 and 25 years long. Unlike many other species, the lifespan doesn’t increase much in captivity.

In zoos, these exotic animals typically reach an age between 28 and 30 years.

Veterinary Care

Portrait of a giraffe

It’s not easy to take proper veterinary care of a giraffe. There are only a few veterinarians who such an exotic species well and typically the vet near you doesn’t belong to this group.

Highly specialized vets work in-house at zoos and institutions. They are just not available for persons like me and you.

Where Can I Buy A Giraffe?

You won’t find a breeder that has giraffes for sale.

There are about 20 giraffe breeders in the states. But those typically only sell to zoos and other institutions. 

If you really want to buy a giraffe as a private person you have to look at the black market. But that is of course not a real option and highly illegal.

How Much Does A Giraffe Cost?

While reading this article you might have gotten the idea: Giraffes are incredibly expensive animals. 

One giraffe can easily cost 60,000 $ or more if you purchase a healthy and young individual. But of course, that is not all.

The license, shed, fenced-in area, food and veterinary care are going to cost a lot.

Owning a giraffe is only for very rich people that get the permit to have a private zoo. 

Are Giraffes Friendly?

 Yes, generally giraffes are friendly creatures that are calm and peaceful. But they still don’t love to be petted.

However, in some situations, giraffes can become quite aggressive. This is when you get between the mother and her calve for example. During rutting males can also be unpredictable.

So giraffes are not more dangerous than other large animals. But due to their size and weight, you don’t want to mess with them.

A kick from a giraffe can cause serious injuries and can even be fatal. 

Wrapping Things Up

Giraffes aren’t making good pets. Only zoos and institutions like safari parks and rescue centers can take proper care of such an exotic animal. The size alone is too problematic when it comes to feeding and care.

Additionally, it is illegal in many countries like the US to keep wild animals as pets. The license that gives you permission is hard to get and expensive.

And even if all the things above wouldn’t play a role, most people just couldn’t afford this kind of animal. One individual costs more than a middle-class car. And that is without ongoing costs for food, shelter and everything else.