As one of the most majestic creatures of the animal kingdom, giraffe hold a special place in many people’s hearts. But few people realise the extinction threat facing these impressive animals.
Today is World Giraffe Day – an annual event aimed at celebrating these much-loved animals as well as raising support and awareness of the challenges they face in the wild.
Wild giraffe numbers have fallen from 140,000 to less than 80,000 in just 15 years. There are now fewer giraffe left in the wild than African elephants.
Last month three giraffe arrived at Wild Place Project to live in a new £1 million home. The trio, named Tom, Dayo and Gerry, have settled into their purpose-built, two-storey giraffe house and 1.8 acre enclosure. The impressive house includes special viewing areas at ground and first floor level for members of the public to get-close to the giraffe at height.
Nigel Simpson, Head of Operations at Wild Place, said: “Our three giraffe have settled into their new surroundings brilliantly and they are proving a huge hit with visitors. It is fantastic to be able to inspire our guests with a love for these amazing animals and help secure the survival of these graceful animals through our work with giraffe in the wild.”
The new exhibit links to a field conservation project to save one of the few remaining populations of Central African giraffe left in the wild. Experts from Bristol Zoological Society have begun a critical research effort to map the location of some of the remaining Kordofan giraffe in Cameroon, using drone technology.
They hope to establish whether there is a sustainable population of this highly threatened giraffe subspecies that they can work to conserve and help save them from extinction.
Bristol Zoological Society, which owns Wild Place Project and Bristol Zoo Gardens, is a conservation and education charity that relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.