Mothers with calves will gather in nursery herds, usually consisting of two or more infants and/or juveniles and their mothers moving or browsing together. Mothers in such a group may sometimes leave their calves with one female while they travel to other areas. This is known as a "calving pool". Calves appear to have strong social bonds, facilitating social cohesion in nursery groups. Males play almost no role in raising the young. The young are vulnerable to predators. A mother giraffe will stand over her young and kick at a predator that comes near. Giraffes only defend their own young; they form calving herds for selfish reasons. A mother has a strong maternal bond with her calf, lasting until her next calving. Calves suckle for 13 months and continue to associate with their mothers for another 2–5 months.
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