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Are giraffes more at risk from lightning? © Alamy

Are giraffes more at risk of being struck by lightning?

Published: 12th November, 2021 at 11:00
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Giraffes and lightning are both rare but lightning strikes on giraffes aren't unheard of.

Despite being around five metres tall, giraffes are very unlikely to get struck by lightning. But this is mainly because lightning and giraffes are both fairly rare.

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There are only five well-documented fatal strikes on giraffes between 1996 and 2010. With a global giraffe population of around 140,000 in that period, this is about 0.003 deaths per thousand giraffes per year.

That’s a very low risk, but it’s still more than 30 times the equivalent fatality rate from lightning in humans in the US.

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Asked by: Kathy White, Liverpool

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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