Red-billed oxpecker eating ticks from giraffe’s mouth

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Bird eating ticks from Masai giraffe’s mouth in Ngorongoro District, Tanzania. Square format.

The Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi), also spelled Maasai giraffe, also called Kilimanjaro giraffe, is the largest species of giraffe native to East Africa, also the tallest land mammal. The Masai giraffe can be found in central and southern Kenya and in Tanzania. It has distinctive, irregular, jagged, star-like blotches which extend to the hooves. A median lump is usually present in males. It is the largest-bodied giraffe species.

The oxpeckers are two species of bird which make up the family Buphagidae. Some ornithologists regard them as a subfamily Buphaginae within the starling family, Sturnidae, but they appear to be quite distinct. Oxpeckers are endemic to the savanna of Sub-Saharan Africa. Both the English and scientific names arise from their habit of perching on large mammals

Ngorongoro District is one of the five districts of the Arusha Region of Tanzania. It is bordered to the north by Kenya, to the east by Monduli District, to the south by the Karatu District and to the west by the Mara Region.

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