GERENUK

The Gerenuk (Litocranius Walleri), also known as the Waller’s Gazelle, is a long-necked species of antelope. Gerenuk means “giraffe-necked” in the Somali language. In ancient African Tribe tales, the Gerenuk has often been crowned ‘Queen of Humbleness.

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Facts

The Gerenuk is a notably tall, slender antelope that resemble Gazelle. It is characterised by its long, slender neck and limbs, the flat, wedge-like head and the large, round eyes. Males are nearly 89–105 cm (35–41+1⁄2 in) tall, and the shorter females 80–100 cm (31–39 in); the head-and-body length is typically between 140 and 160 cm (55 and 63 in). Males weigh between 31 and 52 kg (68 and 115 lb); females are lighter, weighing 28–45 kg (62–99 lb). The species is sexually dimorphic. The tail, that ends in a black tuft, measures 25–35 cm (10–14 in).

Two types of colouration are clearly visible on the smooth coat: the reddish brown dorsal parts (the back or the “saddle”), and the lighter flanks, fawn to buff. The underbelly and insides of the legs are cream in colour. The eyes and the mouth are surrounded by white fur. Females have a dark patch on the crown. The horns, present only on males, are lyre-like (S-shaped). Curving backward then slightly forward, these measure 25–44 cm (10–17+1⁄2 in).

The Gerenuk resembles the Dibatag, with which it is sympatric in eastern and central Somalia and southeastern Ethiopia. Both are brachydonts and share several facial and cranial features, along with a two-tone colouration of the coat and strong thick horns (only in males). However, there are also some features distinguishing it from the Gerenuk, including major morphological differences in horns, horn cores, tail, postorbital area and basioccipital processes. The Gerenuk has a longer, heavier neck and a shorter tail. A finer point of difference is the absence of an inward-curving lobe in the lower edge of the ear (near its tip) in the Gerenuk. The subspecies of the Gerenuk are similar in colouration; the southern Gerenuk is the smaller of the two. The Gerenuk stages of growth have a timespan from 4 months to 2.5 years: at four months, their shoulder height is about two-thirds of adult female, at six months their shoulder height is about three-quarters of adult female, at eight months their horn tips are clearly visible (about 1cm long), at one year their shoulder height is nearly equal to adult female but body more lightly built, their horns are slightly less than half ear-length, then curve, at two years their horns are about 1.5 times their ear length and the second curve becomes noticeable with the tips turning forwards, and finally at two and a half years the double curve in the horns are nearly completed.

The Gerenuk is a diurnal animal (active mainly during the day), though it typically stands or rests in shade during the noon. Foraging and feeding is the major activity throughout the day; females appear to spend longer time in feeding. The Gerenuk may expose itself to rain, probably to cool its body. The social structure consists of small herds of two to six members. Herds typically comprise members of a single sex, though female herds additionally have juveniles. Some males lead a solitary life.

Fighting and travel are uncommon, possibly as a strategy to save energy for foraging. Both sexes maintain home ranges 3–6 km2(1–2+1⁄2 sq mi) large, and might overlap. Those of males are scent-marked with preorbital gland secretions and guarded – hence these may be termed territories. The sedentary tendency of the antelope appears to increase with age.

When startled, a Gerenuk will drop its head to its chest, crouch, and take off running. It will freeze behind some bushes and use its long neck to assess the situation before deciding whether or not to continue being still or to make a break for it.

Primarily a browser, Gerenuk feed on foliage of bushes as well as trees, shoots, herbs, flowers and fruits. It can reach higher branches and twigs better than other Gazelle and antelopes by standing erect on its hind legs and elongating its neck; this helps it reach over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) above the ground. Acacia species are eaten whenever available, while evergreen vegetation forms the diet during droughts. The pointed mouth assists in extracting leaves from thorny vegetation. The Gerenuk does not drink water regularly. Major predators of the antelope include African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Hyena, Lion and Leopard.

Gerenuk reproduce throughout the year. Females reach sexual maturity at around one year, and males reach sexual maturity at 1.5 years, although in the wild they may only be successful after acquiring a territory (perhaps 3.5 years). The gestation period is about seven months. They are born one at a time, weighing about 3 kg (7 lb) at birth. Gerenuk can live thirteen years or more in captivity, and at least eight years in the wild.

Habitat

Southern Gerenuk live in the east African countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and northeastern Tanzania. Their habitat varies from semi-arid brush land to dry deserts. They avoid dense woodland and open grassland.

Taxidermy

What is Gerenuk Taxidermy?

Gerenuk taxidermy is the art of preserving the Gerenuk skin and other body parts to produce lifelike sculptures for display, either at home as a hunting trophy or in museums for educational purposes. Skin is preserved and mounted on an artificial armature to display the specimen.

The contemporary English word “taxidermy” is derived from the Greek terms taxis, meaning “movement,” and derma, meaning “skin,” thereby combining these two meanings. This is why, in a broad sense, taxidermy is synonymous with “the motion of skin.”

For expert taxidermists, skills in sculpture, painting, and sketching are just as important as those in carpentry, woodworking, tanning, moulding, and casting.

The remaining parts of the body are synthetic replacements for real organs and tissues. Polyurethane foam is used for the manikin or form, which includes the anatomy of every muscle and vein; glass is used for the eyes; clay is used for the eyelids; for the nose and mouth the foam of the mannequin is sculptured.

Works of taxidermy can be found in a wide range of environments, including museums, classrooms, galleries, stores, restaurants, and private households, due to the complexity and delicate craftsmanship involved in the taxidermy process.

Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity. Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost. Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.

Hunting Gerenuk

In Africa, the greatest time to shoot a Gerenuk is just before it spots you, after it has frozen in fear as it scans the area for potential threats.

In Africa, a Gerenuk can be hunted with any gun suitable for plains game. Anything with a calibre between.270 and.300 will do the trick. The Gerenuk has keen eyesight and hearing, making it difficult to get within striking distance. Your range may extend beyond 170 yards. Consider using a Nosler Partition or a Barnes Triple Shock bullet. Long-range shooting calls for a 25-06, .257 Roberts, or .257 Weatherby.

Shooting a Gerenuk in Africa will require some careful planning. The length of its legs and neck gives the illusion that it is larger than it actually is. Since it has a narrow midsection, any shots taken from the side or the right will require some planning. Cut the animal in half lengthwise, then again diagonally. Then, visualise a line going up the back of the foreleg, vertically. The centre is located at the point where the vertical line and the smallest horizontal line intersect. The lungs will be struck if the shot is slightly off.

The Gerenuk taxidermist’s process and method

When making an Gerenuk mount, careful planning is key to getting a high-quality result. When tanning and oiling the skins, only the best chemicals and methods are used. This ensures that the skins will last for many years.

Your preferred form for the Gerenuk will be chosen after taking your measurements into account, and the posture of your form will be changed at no extra cost. Full-mount Gerenuk trophies come with bases made to look like the animal’s natural habitat and made just for the Gerenuk mount.

The taxidermy process at Life-Form takes your prized Gerenuk trophy and gives it a whole new meaning by using only the best materials and drawing on more than 40 years of experience in the field.

When repair is needed, every effort is made to fix cuts and scrapes and lessen bullet damage. Existing scars are left alone unless the client asks for them to be taken away.

Taking care of your Gerenuk trophy

Using the helpful tips below, it’s important to take extra care of your prized Gerenuk trophy to make sure it stays in perfect shape for years to come.

  • To keep your Gerenuk mounts looking their best, it’s important to put them in the right place with the right temperature and humidity.
  • To keep your mounts from fading over time, try not to hang them next to a sunny window where they will be in direct sunlight for a long time. If you can, don’t put taxidermy near direct heat sources like furnace vents or wood stoves.
  • A taxidermy trophy should be handled and cared for like any other expensive and fine piece of art. Mounts should only be touched when they need to be.
  • If you want your mounts to look their best, you should dust them often and gently. A feather duster works well, and then you can wipe away any remaining dust with a damp cloth in the direction of the hair.
  • People often say that things like furniture polish work well to clean hair or fur, but you should avoid using them. Over time, these things can actually gather more dust and moisture.
  • You can also use compressed air or a vacuum with a soft brush for the scenery. Be careful to work gently and follow the natural direction of the skin.
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in glass cleaner to clean the eyes, and then use a clean, dry swab to polish them.
  • Even the most prestigious museums and trophy rooms have had items damaged by insects. Moths and tiny demisted or carpet beetles are the two types of insects that are responsible for this problem, so it is worth fumigating the room regularly.
  • A fine repellent mist should be sprayed all over the mount, and then the product should be carefully combed into the hair. A blow dryer can be used to restore the fluffy appearance of the fur on animals that have it.

FAQ's

How much does an Gerenuk trophy cost?

The pricing of any trophy is subject to the costing stipulated per taxidermy order, quantity of trophies and preferred mounting options, along with additional requirements.

Should you wish to receive a quotation prior to the hunt, the taxidermist can generate such for you. Please contact [email protected]

How long does an Gerenuk trophy take?

Taxidermy is an art form that involves a complicated step-by-step process to make sure that each trophy looks just right and is of a high enough quality that it will last your whole life.

The time it takes a taxidermist to mount an animal might range from days to weeks, and possibly several months, depending on the quantity of trophies per taxidermy order, the display preferences, and volumes of client trophies to be produced, simultaneously, per production schedule.

This depends largely on the “what, how, when” factors. A taxidermy order also only becomes available for production scheduling upon receipt of the required deposit and trophy mounting instructions.

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