21st June is World Giraffe Day and it is an exciting annual event initiated to celebrate the tallest animal in the world on the longest day or night of the year (depending on where you live in the world). This day is to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges that the much-loved giraffe face in the wild. When you think about it, they are very odd-looking creatures with their long, swaying necks, distinctive pattern on their furry coats and those endless spindly legs. But we love them, which is why they have their own nominated day in the calendar year!
The conservation and protection of wild animals are at risk in their natural environment due to several factors, including poaching and destruction of their ecosystems and habitats (some caused by human settlements). World Giraffe Day was initiated by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation which hopes to bring awareness of the amazing animal’s plight to every concerned person across the world and also to celebrate our long-necked friends!
There are only around 100,000 giraffes left in the wild, meaning they are approaching high-risk status as their numbers in Africa have dropped hugely by around 40% in just the last three decades alone. So, by supporting World Giraffe Day, you can directly help save giraffe in Africa. Many Zoos, schools, non profit organisations, governments, institutions, companies and conservation organisations around the world are hosting events on or around World Giraffe Day to raise awareness and support for giraffe in the wild. Giraffes are an inspiration for children all around the world and it is almost impossible to imagine an Africa where these giant beasts don’t roam the savannah.
It would be a tragedy if giraffes were to go extinct in the wild. Not only are they a friendly species but they are unique in the animal kingdom, owing to their long necks, and colourful markings. There are four separate species of giraffe in the world: There’s the Masai giraffe that lives on the border between Kenya and Tanzania; Then there’s the reticulated giraffe; the southern giraffe that lives in countries like Botswana; and finally the northern giraffe, which dominates much of the north of Africa. The giraffe, as you might guess, is the tallest animal in the world. And no two individuals have the same spots. Every giraffe is different, just like how two people never have the same fingerprints.
What Can You Do?
Many organisations will be taking part in fundraising and observance of this day – so if you want to get involved, you could pop along and play your part. There are also opportunities to get involved on the day itself to help raise awareness of the plight of the giraffe and to engage the community on the issue. The giraffe needs people on the ground who understand the issues and can have an impact on the wider community.
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation website https://giraffeconservation.org/ has plenty of information for you to learn more and if you wish to donate to the effort of saving the world’s giraffe population: You should certainly take a look if you are fond of these long-necked creatures to help ensure the future safety of the giraffe.
What else can you do to celebrate World Giraffe Day?
Besides attending an event, you could try painting an image that captures the essence of these beasts. You can convey their giant, striding nature on canvas and then perhaps share your work on social media. You could also write an article on the dangers that giraffes face and the things that individuals can do to support the species and explaining what steps we can take to make a difference.
Share information about giraffe conservation on your social networking accounts, and get the conversation started about keeping these beautiful animals a part of our wildlife.
The time is right to act NOW! And the best thing you can do, is raise awareness, to help the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in their effort to protect and preserve this marvellous species.