When you think about endangered species you normally think of pandas or gorillas or something, but I never thought that giraffes were even close to being on the list.
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It turns out that they are on the brink of making it there though and many experts fear that the species could become the victim of a ‘silent extinction’. Five separate environmental groups have petitioned the US government to list them as endangered but as of yet they haven’t had their status officially recognised. The facts are fairly damning though – there are thought to be only 97,500 giraffes left in sub-Saharan Africa which makes them less common than elephants down there. It’s also a shocking drop in population of 40% from 1985, which really puts the situation into perspective.
It’s thought that the decline is due to a combination of loss of habitat, disease and illegal hunting for both bushmeat and trophies. Jeff Flocken, North America regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said the following:
When I was doing research on giraffes in Kenya a few years ago, they were quite abundant and no one questioned that they were doing well.
Only recently have we looked at them critically and seen this huge drop, which has been a shock to the conservation community. This is an iconic animal and it’s in deep trouble.
Currently, no US or international law protects giraffes against overexploitation for trade. It is clearly time to change this.‘As the largest importer of trophies in the world, the role of the United States in the decline of this species is undeniable, and we must do our part to protect these animals.
Well said. Hopefully the US stops being a dickhead and killing giraffes for trophies and we don’t see this once great animal slowly go the way of the once great buffalo. What are the chances of that happening under Donald Trump though/
Do you know how giraffes fight? Watch this, it will blow your mind.