Born Free is delighted to announce our brand new* Giraffe Family adoption programme, raising vital funds to protect rare reticulated giraffe in Meru Conservation Area in Kenya, the park where the Born Free story began and Elsa the lioness was successfully returned to the wild.
Reticulated giraffe are one of the most endangered giraffe species, with fewer than 16,000 left in the wild. This is just a fraction of the 36,000-47,750 estimated to have existed three decades ago, a decline of more than 50%. Reticulated giraffe are now only found in Kenya, as well as small populations in Somalia and Ethiopia.
Kenya is home to an estimated 28,850 giraffe, of which some 8,660 are reticulated. Around 1,400 of these live in the Meru Conservation Area and here, with the help of adopters, Born Free and our partners are developing an exciting new project to ensure their conservation. The Meru Giraffe Programme will monitor, study and protect giraffes, and learn more about their behaviour. By identifying giraffe families and the challenges they face, we will then work to mitigate threats.
Giraffes play a key ecological role. The tallest and largest ruminant, by browsing trees and shrubs they open up habitat and promote new growth. By dispersing acacia seeds through their dung, they help propagate trees, helping stem the tide of desertification. Born Free will work with local communities in Meru Conservation Area to increase awareness about reticulated giraffe and their importance for habitat protection.
“It is essential to resolve any conflict between people and giraffes, which may result from giraffes raiding farmers’ crops,” explains Born Free’s Head of Conservation Dr Nikki Tagg. “We also want stop poaching – giraffes can be illegally killed by wire snares, firearms and spears. A local team of new Giraffe Guardians will be trained to patrol and remove snares. We would love you get involved!”
You can support this innovative, life-changing work by adopting Born Free’s new Meru Giraffe Family for just £3 per month. Your personalised gift pack will include a cuddly toy and regular updates.
*The new Meru Giraffe Family adoption replaces our previous giraffe adoption, and all existing adoptions will automatically be transferred.
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