Giraffes are some of the most awesome animals on the planet, if you ask us. With their long necks, not-quite-horse-not-quite-cow-like faces and beautiful long eyelashes, they’re the sort of creature you’d expect to find in the pages of a Walt Disney sketchbook after the artist “accidentally” ingested a few magic mushrooms. And yet there they are, as real as  any of us, and have existed for thousands upon thousands of years.

But one thing that some might not believe is real is the cry of a giraffe. Think about it: have you ever heard the sounds a giraffe makes? Well, we suppose you may have, but many have not, in Japan or otherwise. And that’s why this video of a baby giraffe calling out has attracted so much attention online.

If you’ve never heard a giraffe’s voice, you’ll want to check this out!

▼ Three of the giraffes, captured by on video by a niconico Douga user

giraffeniconico Douga (Mainaneon)

The Noichi Zoological Park in Japan’s Kochi Prefecture is home to a wide variety of animals, including red pandas and American beavers. They also have a few giraffes, including a baby that was born December 24 last year and named Ibuki.

Thanks to a YouTube video posted last week, Ibuki has become a bit of an Internet star in Japan due to its unexpected vocalization. Most people assume that the reticent giraffe cannot actually make any sounds, but Ibuki proves the doubters wrong! Take a listen. The audio isn’t the best, perhaps due to an echo and the fact that it was filmed on a smartphone, but it’s still worth you time!

Almost as surprising as the fact that Ibuki has a voice is the deep, horn-like sound he produces. If you’d told us to guess what kind of noise giraffes make, we probably would have suggested something high-pitched and cute. And maybe a little goofy, to match their wonderfully silly faces.

▼ “Oi! What did you say about my face?!”

800px-Giraffe_July_2008-1Wikipedia (Alvesgaspar)

The video was apparently captured after the other three adult giraffes went outside, and Ibuki was left alone. We can’t blame him for protesting!

Aside from the three cries caught on video, it seems that Ibuki has stayed quiet. A video camera was set up in his pen, but no more cries were captured. While baby giraffes are the only ones to make noise, and it seems that even they are notoriously quiet. As for the bassiness of Ibuki’s cry, we can only guess that it may have something to do with the giraffe’ relation to cows—his cry does sound quite a bit like the cry of a calf on a farm.

Of course, you probably know that giraffes are the tallest living animals, but if you want to know more about giraffes, check out this video from Blank Park Zoo. They explain that adult giraffes don’t seem to make any noise as well as a few more facts about the tall creatures.

You can visit Ibuki and the rest of the giraffes yourself at the Noichi Zoological Park in Koichi. And while you’re in Shikoku, why not do your own 88-temple pilgrimage around the island!

Zoo Information
Address: 738 Otani, Noichi-cho, Konan-shi, Kochi, Japan 781-5233 (Map)
〒781-5233 高知県香南市野市町大谷738
Phone: 0887-56-3500
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (no admission after 4:00 p.m.)
Admission: 460 yen (US$3.85) for adults, free for children under 18

Sources: Naver Matome, YouTube (noichizoo)
Featured image: YouTube (noichizoo)