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The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is a species of Antelope that is native to African countries such as Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. The Gerenuk is also nicknamed the Giraffe-Gazelle due to its elongated neck.

3135323.large.jpgGerenuks can be found in bushland and semi-arid locations. They are largely independent of water as they are one of the most exclusive browsers in the animal kingdom.

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According to the IUCN Red List, Gerenuks are currently Near Threatened but they are extremely close to meeting the threshold of Vulnerable. The reason for the decline in numbers has been thought to relate to the encroachment of human settlement onto their natural range. Humans have cut down trees in their natural habitat for wood burning. Furthermore, Gerenuks are hunted for their meat, although it is not known how much this has affected their numbers.

gerenuk1_velthaus.jpgAround 10% of the population of Gerenuks occurs in protected areas such as the Tsavo National Park. The population that calls the Tsavo National Park its home has faced its own problems with their numbers being reduced by rinderpest and drought.

Perhaps the best thing about Gerenuks is their unusual way of feeding!!

G_paul.jpgClick here to learn about more Animals You May Not Have Heard About.

Sources:

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