Giraffe are one of the most recognized and beloved animals on the planet. Unfortunately, their numbers have declined steeply in the last decade. The giraffe population has decreased by nearly 40% in the last 15 years. The Zoo supports Dr. Julian Fennessy’s Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), which coordinates research and conservation action plans across East Africa.

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The challenge

The current giraffe population is estimated to be fewer than 80,000 animals; that's about 1/5 of the number of African elephants. Poaching, habitat loss and disease continue to threaten giraffe populations across Africa.

What we're doing

The Zoo supports Dr. Julian Fennessy’s Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), which coordinates research and conservation action plans across East Africa. GCF is dedicated to securing a future for all giraffe populations and species by promoting giraffe conservation and supporting innovative research, conservation and management.

GCF is currently protecting giraffe by:

  • Working with regional governments, NGOs, universities and communities to amplify giraffe conservation efforts in East Africa
  • Protecting endangered Rothschild's giraffe in Uganda through ongoing research and population monitoring
  • Investigating an emerging giraffe skin disease that currently has unknown causes

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Future for Wildlife program protects giraffe by:

  • Co-leading AZA's Giraffe SAFE Program (Saving Animals From Extinction)
  • Addressing giraffe poaching and illegal snaring
  • Translocating animals to secure endangered giraffe populations
  • Conducting population and disease studies

How you can help

Recently, the Zoo and Zoo Society supported GCF’s relocation of giraffe out of northern Ugandan park areas that will be drilled for oil. This move will help create assurance populations in safer areas. Your donation can help continue this important work.

Make a donation toward giraffe conservation at the top of this page.

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Dr. Julian Fennessy surveys giraffe in the field.

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