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I can only suppose that the field scientists who discovered this strange but wonderful species either had the nack of pointing out the obvious or suffered from a severe lack of imagination. Either way, the Giraffe Dog (more popularly known as the 'Raffi' Dog) has been one of the most incredible finds of the century. We may never have known about this breed had not one adventurous scientist followed up local folklaw of a demon in giraffe form that haunts the savannah with its eerie cry. Sightings of lamed adult giraffe seemed to support these tales along with high predation of young giraffe in some areas. Previously put down to lions, there is now startling proof to the contrary.
Canis giraffalis appears to be a member of the jackal family and, despite its equine-like form, is a formiddable predator capable of great speed and endurance. It has become a specialised hunter as, although a completely different species of animal, it seems to have followed similar evolutionary paths to specialise in hunting giraffe. When lying down in long grass, it is almost impossible to tell apart from a new born giraffe, attracting its prey's attention without raising suspicion until it is too late. Many poachers have reportedly fallen victim to this same trick with fatal consequences.
Standing at around 7 foot tall, they are unusually large for the canine family, but despite their elegant form they are incredibly powerful and ferocious. But there size is not the only unusual feature of the Raffi Dog. You will observe the 'extra' joint in the front legs, unique amongst carnivores. However, far from being an extra joint, it is merely that the 'wrist' of other canines appears further up the leg, as it does in herbivores such as horses to give the appearance of the 'knee'. No one is completely sure why this change of skeletal structure has come about for it is a unique feature and has its difficulties, such as severly limiting the ability to stalk prey. We can only guess that this quirk of evolution is yet another feature that makes the Raffi Dog's diguise all the more convincing.
Raffi Dogs are generally solitary, although some, usually males, may group together to form a pack. Through strength of numbers, they have been observed hunting adult giraffe, chasing down the animal to weaken it before lunging in with remarkable speed and agility to bite at the giraffe's legs, hamstringing the animal until it falls to the ground where it can be swiftly killed.
Although only recently discovered by scientists, it seems that yet again humans have pushed this animal to the brink before we even knew about it. Their skins are prized amoungst poachers although they often disguise them as giraffe skins to get past authorities. A scheme is being put in place, using the Raffi Dog's makings, unique to each animal, to monitor their numbers. I can only hope we can save these beautiful creatures before they are lost to us without us ever getting to know them properly.
CAUTION: THESE ARE DANGEROUS ANIMALS. DO NOT APPROACH WITHOUT AN EXPERIENCED GUIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
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