When people hear the word "conservation" they most often think of Rhino's and Elephants, which is GREAT.
But what they don't realise is that giraffe numbers are drastically dropping in the wild, with a decline of up to 40% in the last 10 years. Numbers of wild giraffe reported to be less than 80, 000 remaining, and some subspecies less than 1000!
There has never been a greater time to raise awareness of the need to save this truly unique species. I know with organisations such as the GCF (Giraffe Conservation Foundation
) on their side, they stand more of a fighting chance!
Last year I had the opportunity to listen to the head of the GCF Dr Julian Fennessy, or Dr Giraffe as some like to call him. Not only did his talk confirm some disturbing statistics about giraffe numbers in the wild, it also inspired me to get involved educating people on their need for conservation.
June 21st 2014 was the first ever World Giraffe Day. To celebrate one of Taronga's most iconic animals some colleagues and I decided to hold several fundraising events and with hard work and dedication, along with the support of The Canada Bay club in NSW, we managed to raise nearly $2000 along with vital public awareness for the GCF.
Starting May 21st 2015, I shall be embarking on a Taronga zoo friends fellowship to Namibia to gather valuable information on wild giraffe with the GCF. This means I will be fortunate enough to be experience the second World Giraffe Day in Namibia. I'll be updating the adventure and festivities throughout, so stay tuned!!
I would like to thank the GCF (Giraffe conservation Foundation), Taronga Conservation Society of Australia (TCSA), and the Canada Bay Club NSW , for this amazing opportunity and support to help make this dream come true!!
By Jimmy Sanders - Ungulate Keeper