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Can You Have a Pet Giraffe? 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

can you have a pet giraffe

Can You Have a Pet Giraffe? 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

To begin with, owning a pet giraffe is not a good idea because the animal weighs between 2,600 and 4,200 pounds and is up to 20 feet tall. Besides, it is unethical to take the animal out of its natural habitat – the wild.

Giraffes live in Africa, so they prefer a dry and warm climate. They also need plenty of space to live, whereas, during winter, they should be housed under a tall, heated shed.

Taking care of a giraffe, in the sense of brushing and feeding it, is indeed a hassle.

So, before you go to get a giraffe and keep it as a pet, read this guide that teaches you what it means to have it.

Let’s dig deeper into the subject.

Can You Have a Pet Giraffe?

Yes, you can have pet giraffes in many states, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they make good pets. Owning the largest animal on the planet as a pet comes with many responsibilities, which are much more complex than having a dog.

If you want to learn more about the legal side of things, you should read the exotic animal law by state.

Keep in mind that there are also Health and Safety rules to deal with when owning a giraffe pet in many states.

Having a giraffe at home also involves having a license for it. And this license is usually more expensive than any others you might be thinking of.

You also need good fencing around the place where your giraffe lives. Besides, your giraffe should be kept in a tall and robust building from which it couldn’t get out.

Don’t forget that giraffes are used to African temperatures. It’s challenging to maintain high temperatures in areas with temperate or cold weather.

You would need to install solar panels to ensure heat in cold weather conditions.

The other pets in your family might be jealous of your pet giraffe (or, in the worst case, get injured). For example, if you’d own a dog or a cat, they might become very irritated or scared (most likely) by a new pet.

Even getting a giraffe is very difficult. There are only 20 giraffe breeders in the US and most conduct business with animal institutions and zoos.

There are around 350 giraffes in the US alone, most of which are owned by zoos. It should also be mentioned that giraffe breeders primarily work for zoos.

Is It Legal to Have a Pet Giraffe?

In many US states and countries worldwide, owning exotic animals as pets, such as giraffes, is illegal. However, if you get a license, you can have giraffes without any problem. 

While in some countries, such as Ireland, it’s legal to own a pet giraffe, as there is no law against it.

The states and countries that prohibit owning exotic or wild animals are against this for public safety reasons. In contrast, some other places have laws protecting the animal and its owner.

Having such an animal as a pet requires investing a lot of effort and money to get a license.

Related: Can You Have a Pet Flamingo?

Can Giraffes Be Domesticated?

Giraffes have docile personalities, which means they can be relatively easily domesticated. Although, tamed giraffes could most likely be used for transportation purposes only.

Giraffes started to be domesticated in the past 10,000 years. Nowadays, we don’t have to tame them because many other alternatives are available.

We tend to domesticate only animals that can help us in diverse ways. 

As for the giraffes, only zoos keep and domesticate these giants, as they have plenty of money to invest in taming and raising them.

The only reason people are domesticating giraffes in the modern world is entertainment. Not everyone can afford to go to the jungle to watch giraffes, so it’s necessary to tame them so they can be kept in zoos.

Giraffes have a dark side, too, so you shouldn’t forget that if you are trying to domesticate them, they might attack. What you should also know is that their kicks can be fatal.

Do Giraffes Make Good Pets?

Being wild animals, giraffes can be dangerous in certain situations. However, this doesn’t mean they’re not friendly with humans. On the contrary, they’re most of the time peaceful. 

Still, despite their docile nature, they simply do not make good pets. Below are the four main reasons why giraffes are not suitable as pets.

1. Housing Giraffes is Difficult

Building housing for a giraffe is not an easy task. Being gigantic creatures, giraffes need vast space. Besides, you must leave them alone most of the time.

The giraffe might start eating from your neighbors’ trees when it is outside. Or even damage some property, be it yours or neighbors.

Houses for giraffes should also have high temperatures, and the buildings should be insulated and have a very tall roof.

In addition, you would need special feeding places because giraffes are the tallest animals in the world.

2. Owning a Pet Giraffe Requires a Lot of Paperwork

As mentioned above, in many US states and countries around the world, owning a giraffe is not illegal. However, you would need a lot of paperwork, such as a license and a permit to keep it.

Obtaining a license and permit to own giraffe costs a lot of money. Besides, there are many requirements when it comes to getting a permit.

If you needed to take your giraffe to the vet, you would have to take the license for owning it. Moreover, you would need a permit for transportation.

3. Having Giraffe as a Pet is Expensive

Not only is keeping a giraffe very expensive because you need to spend a lot of money on its housing, transportation, and ownership license, but the animal itself is too pricy to buy.

Transporting a giraffe is also quite expensive, and feeding it is not cheap either. Giraffes eat every day somewhere at 60 kg of mimosa, acacia, or wild apricot trees.

More about getting a giraffe in one of this article’s following sections, where you will learn more about how much it would cost you to buy a giraffe.  

4. High Veterinary Costs

Since not many people own pet giraffes, a veterinary for such an animal would be very difficult to find.

Moreover, veterinaries would charge a lot to take care of your giraffe pet because tending to their health requires a lot of study.

You would need to go to the zoo or an animal institution to find a veterinarian for your pet giraffe.

Such an animal needs special care because it’s not typical. It has a very different anatomy than your regular pet.

How Much Does a Giraffe Cost?

Purchasing a giraffe might cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000. However, giraffes are typically sold at $27,000 and $30,000, and their price is usually determined by a zoo. In other words, buying a giraffe requires making a significant investment.

The insurance and transportation for a giraffe would be another $20,000. In the USA, the price for vegetables is about $1 per kg, and a giraffe would need about 60 kilograms of food.

This means that you would need to pay $1,800 every month, only for the food of your giraffe.

Consuming 7 l of water a day, the monthly cost of giving your giraffe its water is $315.

And these are only a few of the costs. Keep in mind that there are also veterinary and housing costs.

Where Can I Buy a Giraffe?

Suppose you don’t want to go to Africa to get a giraffe. In that case, you can always visit your local zoo and animal institutions to buy a giraffe.

Have about $50,000 on you to pay not only for the animal itself but also for transportation and insurance. Prepare its housing before buying it. 

Build a yard for it too. Make sure the fencing where it lives is very tall. 

The housing would cost you about $20,000 – $25,000.

In the US, zoo veterinaries have a $15,807 to $421,296 salary. 

This means that hiring a veterinary for your giraffe would cost you a lot of money. He or she will charge you according to their studies and experience.  


Giraffes are majestic creatures that can be domesticated but do not make good pets. Besides being forbidden to keep a giraffe at home in many states, don’t forget that the costs of caring for such a creature are also very high. Considering all, you should think twice before adopting an enormous pet.

Hopefully, this article helped you learn more about what having a pet giraffe means.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this article, here’s another read on a similar topic: Can You Have a Pet Panther?

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