The endangered species list continues to grow as the Giraffe has now been added to that list. It is our gentle giants, the ones who feast on lettuce are now just four steps away from a complete wipe out. The number of Giraffes in Africa have dwindled by about 40% in the past thirty years. Anthropogenic reasons happens to be the major threat of the Giraffe population. Reasons such as habitat loss, recreational killing and civil unrest are a few in depth reasons. They are being poached for their tails, as it is used as dowry while asking to marry a woman.
The Abilene Zoo wants to increase awareness that could hopefully bring this unique species out of endangerment. They use money collected from the Giraffe feeding deck to help support the conservation of the species. The Zoo supports the Giraffe Conservation Fund and participate in world Giraffe day, which is June 21st. They have had tremendous success with their Giraffe breeding program. Denise Ibarra, General Curator at the Abilene Zoo explains how the breeding conservation program became a success. “We had received a young male that we helped hand-rear from another facility and then shortly after that we had four babies born here, so that’s five young giraffe in two years. I’d say that we are a successful breeding program here.”
According to American conservationists, Giraffes have been poached heavily for bone carvings, skin pieces and even trophies estimating to total up to 3,700 giraffes being killed in the process. But at the Abilene Zoo, they are more than trophies they have enshrined themselves as one of the most important species at the zoo, according to Zoo Officials. The ten Giraffes, or a tower at the exhibit, are the ambassadors for their wild species. All it takes to help with conservation efforts is to support the local zoos, who donate to conservation funds.