A 12-year-old giraffe called Forest – a resident of Australia Zoo in Queensland – has been confirmed as the world’s tallest giraffe, standing at 5.7 m (18 ft 8 in). 🦒📏
Towering to the same height as a stack of four MINI cars from the ground to the tips of his ossicones (the bony points atop a giraffe’s head), Forest truly towers over his peers.
Forest stands head and shoulders above the other two giraffes at the park (Kebibi and Gigi), where he is the only male in the herd.
He was born at Auckland Zoo in New Zealand in 2007 and was moved to his new home at the age of two.
The zoo always knew that Forest was big – even among his kind, which are the tallest animal species alive today – but measuring him was far from easy!
Staff had to create a specially marked measuring pole and rig it close to a hay dispenser in the giraffe house.
It then took several months to capture the video and photos that Guinness World Records required to assess his height.
In the wild, giraffes (Giraffa camelopardlis) as a species are currently recognized as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and in recent years there have been calls by some conservationists for their status to be upgraded to Endangered.
That is already the case for certain subspecies, such as the Masai giraffe (G. camelopardalis ssp. tippelskirchi), one of the largest subspecies, which was declared Endangered by the IUCN in 2019.
This extra-lofty giraffe isn’t the only record-breaking resident of Australia Zoo, though.
The zoo is owned by wildlife royalty, the Irwins (Terri, Bindi and Robert), who are now also joined by Bindi’s fiancé, Chandler Powell.
This A-list Australian family rose to fame in TV series such as Crocodile Hunter, hosted by the late Steve Irwin, who sadly died after an injury inflicted by a stingray in 2006.
Bindi herself is a record holder, with the most followers for a TV naturalist on Instagram. She currently has more than 3.5 million followers on the social network, so it's fitting that it was there that she broke the news about their record-breaking giraffe.
Bindi could not be more proud that Forest has joined her as part of the Guinness World Records family.
“Our sweetheart Forest has officially made it into the Guinness World Records [books] for being the tallest living giraffe! We are proud of our towering guy, he has such a wonderful heart.”
She added: “Giraffes are doing it tough in the wild, and we're so proud that we can do our part in ensuring this species is around for the generations to come.”
Forest stars in the upcoming Guinness World Records 2021 book, which hits the shops this autumn and is available for pre-orders now.