My NPR email updates are often things I try to ignore, like Trump’s latest cabinet appointments, but today they sent an article that brought me right back to my zookeeping intern days, when I would occasionally get to take a break from shoveling endless piles of poop to spend some quality time with Randall, the handsome guy next to me in the photo. The article and an update from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) explained that the IUCN added giraffes to their ‘red list’ of species facing extinction because giraffe populations have declined between 36-40% since 1985. Why? Humans, of course.
The growing human population is having a negative impact on many giraffe subpopulations. Illegal hunting, habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, increasing human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest are all pushing the species towards extinction.
– The IUCN in a December 8th, 2016 update
As of 2015, there were fewer than 100,000 giraffes left on the planet. To put that in perspective, there are more people living in Fargo, North Dakota, where the annual average temperature is only 42 degrees F, than giraffes on the whole continent of Africa. That’s not right, y’all.
I don’t have a call to action right now, other than love one another, care for other species, and look at these giraffes hanging out with each other and nibbling on treetops! Go on. You won’t regret it.