Culled giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa were dissected into standard cuts as far as possible and their mass was determined. Carcass composition was studied by means of buttock dissections and meat quality by means of muscle fibre diameter measurements. Mean total body mass of adult males was 1 174,3 +-31,5 kg and of adult females was 791,8 +-17,6 kg. There were significant seasonal differences in total body mass and in the case of females the amount of fat present in the carcass declined during the hot dry season, probably as a result of lower nutritional levels. Male carcasses dressed out at 61,9% and females at 56,6%with a fairly good conformation yielding a high proportion of buttock, but with a low fat and high bone content. Despite their late maturing, and undesirably high muscle fibre diameter in older animals, the species nevertheless holds great promise for diversifying meat production in semi-arid savanna areas because it occupies a unique ecological niche.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher