Giraffe numbers have fallen by nearly half in just 20 years, with this majestic giant already extinct in seven countries.
The number of giraffes left in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Twenty years ago, there were 350.
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 threats are driven by human activities, including habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as hunting and poaching.
Percentage of the giraffe population lost in the last 20 years, falling from 140,000 to about 85,000.
In some rural African communities, bushmeat (wild game) is an important source of protein, and surplus meat is sold for added income. In a cruel twist of fate, some people now believe that consuming giraffe brain and bone marrow will cure HIV/AIDS. This myth has placed a higher cultural value on the giraffe, and 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 and peddle their parts.
Together, we can
turn things around.™
turn things around.™
The Swahili word for giraffe. The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is working with local Kenyan communities to train "Twiga Walinzi," or giraffe guards, and supporting 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.
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 across the board, including the rehabilitation, hand-raising, and re-release of orphaned or injured animals. Once they’re back in the wild, we watch over them through anti-poaching patrols and aerial surveillance. We can’t do it without your help.
What You Can Do, Right Now
Give $30 today and provide a week of anti-poaching patrols and the manpower to remove a giraffe snare.