“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

Going, Going, Gone? Giraffes Under Threat

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Nature and Environmental Writer: Ellie Chivers Investigates The Growing Concern For Giraffes

Photo by Taylor Lee

Not long ago, I saw a meme circulating Twitter, with the premise of, ‘how are giraffes real and unicorns aren’t? What’s more believable – a horse with a horn or a camel with a 6ft long neck?’ Well, the sad but silent reality is, in the not-too-distant-future, neither may be real.

The ICUN – or the International Union for Conservation of Nature and National Resources – have reported that two subspecies of giraffe (Kordofan and Nubian giraffe) are now listed as “critically endangered” , with another (Reticulated giraffe) falls into the “endangered” category.

Giraffes have been considered ‘vulnerable’ by the ICUN since 2016, and only one subspecies – the Angolan giraffe – seem to be escaping danger, still being categorised under ‘least concern.’

Why Are Giraffe Numbers Declining?

The simple answer? Us. Humans. The answer to many of the world’s problems. Jules Howard cites reasons for their upsetting disappearances in an article for The Guardian: “the conversion of grasslands to farmland, deforestation and the impact of civil wars, not forgetting the occasional crazed American tourist with a big gun fetish. Giraffes are now split across Africa into discreet populations that no longer mix – they are nine isolated islands of life being increasingly squeezed from all sides.”