New sad statistics are showing that the number of some giraffe species has decreased by 40% in the last 15 years. Conservationists fear that the African giraffe is facing extinction if this continues in the near future.
Experts say that there are less than 80,000 giraffes in Africa at the moment. This means that there are 60,000 less giraffes than there were fifteen years ago, when there were more than 140,000 African giraffes. The reason for this worrying fact is the continuous poaching and bush meat hunters. The conservationists blame them for this rapid decline of the African giraffe number.
Dr. Noelle Kumper who is part of the Zoological Society said:
“Many of the threats to rhinos and elephants are the same for giraffes. The threats are local. It’s loss of habitat and increasingly it’s poaching, but not for the international trade, its bush meat hunting.”
Dr. Kumpel explained that while there is a difference between poaching for rhinos and elephants than for giraffes, the dangers are the same. The African giraffe is facing extinction and it will disappear completely if things do not change dramatically. He said that many African people kill giraffes and eat them because of extreme poverty. Some kill and sell African giraffe meat bones and brains claiming that it’s an efficient treatment for curing HIV and AIDS. This helps the illegal trade increase everyday.
The biologists say that there is little conservation effort made to help the African giraffes, even though there are very present in zoos.
Dr. Julian Fennessy is the director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and a spokesperson for the state of the African giraffes. He said:
“Being delicious is one thing, but there’s also a bucket-load of meat, and they’re not difficult to hunt. People love giraffes but they are taken for granted. People assume that they’re everywhere. They see them on branding and postcards and think they are okay. But the decline of their natural habitat has seen their numbers fall dramatically.”
Despite the fact that the African giraffe is facing extinction, authorities still don’t bother to take measures and protect this animal.