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Giraffe Conservation

Support giraffe conservation

The current giraffe population is estimated to be around 117,000 animals. Poaching, habitat loss and disease continue to threaten giraffe populations across Africa.

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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 30 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 ~117,000 animals (think one giraffe for every three to four elephants). Giraffe conservation threats include habitat loss, habitat degradation, habitat fragmentation, human population growth, population isolation, climate change, oil/gas exploration and poaching.

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 across Africa
  • Protecting endangered Nubian 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)
  • Supporting GCF’s giraffe protection activities in East Africa
  • Assisting GCF with efforts to secure endangered giraffe populations in Uganda
  • Conducting population and disease studies

How you can help

Spread the word about the threats giraffe face in the wild and use #StandTallForGiraffe on social media posts.

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

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Blog: Read the 2022 field updates from GCF.



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Dr. Julian Fennessy surveys giraffe in the field.


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Conservation in Action:
Through donations to giraffe conservation, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society provide core support for giraffe translocation initiatives and giraffe population monitoring studies.


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Blog: Learn about Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's national role in giraffe conservation in this archive blog from 2017.


Select photos courtesy of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation

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