Giraffe licking ear

Here’s photographic proof it’s not just humans who like whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ears!

Giraffe licking ear
Mind if I bend your ear? Photo:

Award-winning South African photographer Rob Tarr captured this tender scene during a trip through the Kruger National Park.

“We’re so spoiled to have such a magnificent nature area available to us,” said Rob. “And every visit to the Kruger always seems to turn up something special. This was one of those moments when one giraffe seemed to be whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the other…

Giraffe licking ear
Rob Tarr – “We were fascinated by the whole saga!”

“I am no giraffe expert, so if anyone has any explanation for what behaviour was going on here, I’d really appreciate it.”

According to wildlife safari guide Craig Doria lots of animals do participate in this type of mutual grooming behaviour.

“It creates bonds and reinforces a sense of belonging to a group, a kind of one-ness,” says Craig. “Although giraffe have very fluid herd structures, they don’t necessarily stay together in a herd forever.

“You might see a large group of them together for a month or so and then they just all split up. So this social grooming behaviour may strengthen the bonds while they’re together.”

Giraffe licking ear
Rob Tarr – “The nibble just got escalated to a bit of tongue-in-ear!”

Rob used the following for the series of photos: Canon: 7D; 70-200mm f/2.8 ii L lens at 200mm; 1/640 sec; f/4.5; iso100.

Copyright for photographs remains with Rob Tarr at all times.

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