On average, a giraffe towers at 18 feet, but recently, a routine research study found two that are just half of this size.
The pair of ‘mini’ giraffes were discovered by conservation scientists in Uganda. The Nubian giraffe was 9 feet and 4 inches and the Angolan giraffe was just 8 and a half feet.
The only logical conclusion to this was that the giraffes were suffering from dwarfism.
This results in abnormal bone development and usually an unevenly proportioned body.
Dwarfism is known amongst humans and animal in captivity (usually due to inbreeding), but is almost unheard of among wild animals.
This find is the first-ever documented case in giraffes.
Usually in the wild, a disorder like this would affect lifespan, but since these giraffes are already mature adults, it shouldn’t affect their health,
The pair of giraffes were nicknamed Gimil and Nigel.
Gimil is the Nubian giraffe and was firsr seen in 2015, he was only a calf at the time but still had an imbalanced limb dimension.
A few years later, the team came back to the same park to take photos of the giraffe and monitored him as he grew.
Nigel, the Angolan giraffe, was found on a private farm in central Namibia and was monitored, just like Gimil was over a few years.
Measurements from both giraffes were used by scientists to compare with other adults of a similar age and population.
Both giraffes had shorter legs than their counterparts and had different neck lengths, this may make them more vulnerable to predators.