From the NY Times Article detailing a big game hunter's kill of an 18 year-old giraffe, the hunter Tess Thompson Talley reportedly claims in an email to news organizations that an 18 year old giraffe is too old to breed (assumed in the wild). The same article says that Iris Ho, a wildlife programs manager for Humane Society International, states that 18 year old male giraffes can breed in the wild. This discrepancy is not clarified in the article; neither woman is quoted exactly on the age nor is it stated which assertion is correct.

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    Near miss answer: Life expectancy, maximum longevity and lifetime reproductive success in female Thornicroft's giraffe in Zambia discusses the relative breeding lifespans of male versus female giraffes, but never suggests that males have an upper limit (except death). It is consistent with the idea that male giraffes can generally breed until death, but never explicitly states it (that I can see).
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 4, 2018 at 2:33
  • @Jimmy M. How did the hunter Tess Thompson Talley know how old the giraffe was? Jul 4, 2018 at 17:50
  • Giraffes are listed as the 4th largest land mammal by weight, between the white rhino and the black rhino. White Rhinos reach sexual maturity age 6-12 and can live to be 40-50. Black rhinos reach sexual maturity age 5 to 8 and can live 35 to 50 years. Thus If you can find the ages when white and black rhinos stop reproducing, the age that giraffes stop reproducing - if any - might be a similar age. Jul 4, 2018 at 18:05
  • At least in theory, most male mammals are fertile until they die and I would expect that to apply to giraffes as well. Semen quality will likely, just as for humans, decrease with age and social aspects may also be relevant for animals, e.g. that females won't allow old blokes to mount. Jul 6, 2018 at 16:51


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