Join the 1st World Giraffe Day and help save these gentle giants

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Giraffe population has declined by 40% over the last 15 years. Less than 80.000 exist in the wild today. In Africa, for every giraffe there are 5 elephants. Habitat loss, disease and poaching are decimating these gentle giants at a worrying pace. Urgent action is necessary to protect these extraordinary animals. You can act now! Join the giraffe conservation efforts by participating in the first World Giraffe Day on 21 June 2014.

Maasai Giraffe – Serengeti

Girrafes´ scientific name, giraffa camelo pardalis, derives from its resemblance to camels, in the way they walk, and to leopards, in their skin patterns. These elegant and nonchalant herbivores ensured their survival through elongation. Scientists discuss whether their extraordinary long necks evolved primarily to reach the top of trees or to reach down to access water from the ground.

Giraffes can measure up to 5.3 meters, making it the tallest of land mammals. They also have prehensile tongues that extend to almost half a meter.

These morphological features allow them to munch on highly nutritious shrubs that grow at the top of acacias and other trees. This selective feeding behaviour, together with an efficient digestive system, provides them with large quantities of energy at a relatively low cost.

Giraffes spend only 50% of the day feeding compared to for example elephants who spend around 95% of their time eating. They need to drink as little water as camels, which also makes them highly resilient in dry areas.

In order to be able to pump enough blood into their brains, giraffe’s hearts are two and a half times larger than its body size would suggest. Their arteries have developed special valves to prevent extreme pressure that would otherwise make them collapse.

Giraffes’ social behaviour is very liberal. They live in loose associations of up to 50 individuals. There are no leaders and minimum coordination of herd movements. Mothers with small calves are the exception. They gather in crèches where a few mothers take care of all calves while the others go feeding. Female giraffes also have established calving sites to which they return periodically for birthing.

All these characteristics but mainly their mere beauty make these animals unique. Help save giraffes now!

More information on the first World Giraffe Day

Julian Guerrero

Julian Guerrero

Julián Guerrero Orozco FLSJulián studied law and international relations. He has worked for almost 20 years in the areas of government, diplomacy and consulting. His true passions are, however, nature and wildlife filmmaking and photography, and sailing. He studied wildlife filmmaking at American University during a sabbatical he took in 2008 and, more recently, at Wildeye: International School of Wildlife Filmmaking. He was born and raised in Colombia but has also lived in Paris, London, Washington, Cape Town and The Hague. He now resides with his family in Arusha, Tanzania, where he spends most of his time in the bush, studying wildlife and working on his video and photo projects.Julián is also an avid sailor. He has sailed in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the North Seas, and the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans. He is a certified RYA Yachtmaster skipper. He owns a handmade 14 feet Kittiwake gaff cutter yawl named Capricho. His dream is to sail around the world with his wife Ana María and his son Simón. CVJulián is a fellow of the Linnean Society of London (www.linnean.org) and a registered member of Wildlife Film (www.wildlife-film.com).Contact: [email protected]

Julian Guerrero

Julian Guerrero

Julián Guerrero Orozco FLSJulián studied law and international relations. He has worked for almost 20 years in the areas of government, diplomacy and consulting. His true passions are, however, nature and wildlife filmmaking and photography, and sailing. He studied wildlife filmmaking at American University during a sabbatical he took in 2008 and, more recently, at Wildeye: International School of Wildlife Filmmaking. He was born and raised in Colombia but has also lived in Paris, London, Washington, Cape Town and The Hague. He now resides with his family in Arusha, Tanzania, where he spends most of his time in the bush, studying wildlife and working on his video and photo projects.Julián is also an avid sailor. He has sailed in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the North Seas, and the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans. He is a certified RYA Yachtmaster skipper. He owns a handmade 14 feet Kittiwake gaff cutter yawl named Capricho. His dream is to sail around the world with his wife Ana María and his son Simón. CVJulián is a fellow of the Linnean Society of London (www.linnean.org) and a registered member of Wildlife Film (www.wildlife-film.com).Contact: [email protected]

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Kaylass Patel
Kaylass Patel

Oh no, think I've joined discuss now proper! Eeek! Anyway, yes all good just now but just had treatment today. As I've now said to the world (!!!!!), just want an international 'kaylass' day THAT'S ALL really, not asking for much is it???? :O

kaylass patel
kaylass patel

Woo hoo!!! Yesss says a wild me 😀 Actually, ask tomorrow, just had treatment today and you know I have a bad week. But trundling along as per. Just want a ‘Kaylass’ day that’s internationally recognised! 😉 Xxx

Nancy Green

Wonderful! Yay, BIG WILD ANIMAL DAY is from now on to be celebrated on 11th June every year. Except for giraffes… If they want to wait 10 days for their special day so be it, but can we invite them along in case they feel left out? Hope you're bearing up xxxxx

Kaylass Patel
Kaylass Patel

Why does anything in June HAVE to be celebrated on the 21st? Just asking for pure selfish reasons really; I love giraffes as I do elephants, big cats, Indian rhinos and hippos; but if having a special day in June, why not the 11th? Just because it's my birthday and if you want a sad story then I will tell you one. I have cancer. I've had it since my daughter was 10 month old and have gone through some scary times, have been told I've not got long to live but then kept beating the odds and here I… Read more »