SILENT DANGER

Giraffes Now ‘Vulnerable’ to Extinction

The giraffe has been added to the international watch list of threatened and endangered species. The tallest land animal is now “vulnerable” to extinction after its population shrunk about 40 percent in 30 years. “There’s a strong tendency to think that familiar species (such as giraffes, chimps, etc.) must be OK because they are familiar and we see them in zoos,” said conservation biologist Stuart Pimm. “This is dangerous.” In 2015, there were only about 97,562 giraffes in the world, reports the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Scientists blame habitat loss, in part, for the decrease in population. “Everyone assumes giraffes are everywhere,” said co-director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation Julian Fennessy, adding that giraffes are experiencing a “silent extinction.”