Today marks a very special day for giraffes at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, and around the world.
World Giraffe Day is a global celebration of these much loved animals, and an annual event to increase awareness of the challenges giraffes face in the wild. It is initiated by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). Sadly, only 80,000 giraffe remain in the wild today due to illegal bush meat trade, habitat destruction, trophy hunting and poaching - so it’s vital to act now.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has a very successful breeding and conservation program for giraffe, and within Australia, is recognised as a leader in the field. By maintaining a healthy insurance population of giraffe in Australia that is genetically diverse, we may be able to better manage a catastrophic drop in the wild population, if it ever occurs.
Taronga is active in supporting the plight of giraffes in the wild, with a well-established partnership with Biliqo-Bulesa Conservancy, one of the largest community conservancies under the umbrella of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT). The conservancy has improved wildlife security in important populations including giraffe, among others, by creating a safer ground for their movement and improving rangeland health. Visitors to the Zoo can help support the NRT by purchasing from the Beads for Wildlife range available at the Zoo Shop.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo currently has 14 giraffe from four generations. The first giraffe born at the zoo, Mutangi, is 26 years of age and is doing well in her retirement. Taronga also has four healthy giraffe calves aged 18 months that are on exhibit.