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The number of giraffes left in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Twenty years ago, there were 350.

A giraffe walks across the savanna

Giraffe populations are threatened by habitat loss and poaching.



A Silent Extinction

Despite being one of the most recognizable creatures on Earth, few people are aware of the giraffes’ predicament. They’re quietly disappearing in what experts call a “silent extinction.” Giraffe populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as hunting and poaching.



A soldier examines a giraffe corpse

Giraffes are poached for their meat and bones.


Percentage of the giraffe population lost in the last 20 years.

Teetering Towers

In some rural African communities, bushmeat (wild game) is an important source of protein, and surplus meat is sold for income. Some communities believe that consuming giraffe brain and bone marrow will cure HIV/AIDS. This myth has accelerated the illegal hunting of this slow-to-reproduce animal. Setting foot or neck snares in giraffe habitat is an inexpensive way to kill them so their parts can be sold for profit.

A young giraffe in tall grass

Together, we can
turn things around.


The Swahili word for giraffe.

A man mounts a trail camera to a tree

A Twiga Walinzi (giraffe guard) mounts a trail camera to a tree. San Diego Zoo Global partners with Kenyan communities to train Twiga Walinzi and supports conservation in the region.



A Global Community

While it can be difficult to enforce anti-poaching laws (where they exist at all), it is also a challenge to change deep-rooted cultural beliefs about wildlife. But change is possible. When local people can provide more easily for their families, giraffe futures become brighter. Community conservation programs provide new jobs and opportunities for income, and help shift attitudes toward animals from "nuisance" to "part of the family."



Three men under a tree, and a man bottle feeding giraffes

Left: a San Diego Zoo Global researcher speaks with Twiga Walinzi. Right: orphaned giraffe calves are cared for at the Sarara Camp in Kenya.


The number of giraffes killed every day. That’s one every few hours.

Your gift to the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy sponsors local conservation efforts to affect change in communities that live alongside giraffes. This includes the rehabilitation, hand-raising, and release of orphaned or injured animals. Once they’re back in the wild, we watch over them with anti-poaching patrols and aerial surveillance. Join us.

Two giraffes on the savanna
rhino mom and baby


Your gift membership offers a lifetime of memories and your loved ones will experience the special wonder of the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park when you give a gift membership today.

Your gift not only cares for countless animals and plants at the Zoo and Safari Park, it protects and saves critically endangered species around the globe relying on us to survive.

Discounts and offers vary by membership type and cannot be combined. Gift recipients must reside within ZIP codes 91900-92899. Memberships valid through 12/31/2021.