TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Giraffes have officially been added to the endangered species list, and in order to conserve what little are left, the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler is doing what they can to raise awareness.
“Giraffes are facing a number of issues including habitat loss, poaching, and giraffes just don’t get enough awareness on what issues they are facing,” Caldwell Zoo Director of Visitor Activities Morgan Armstrong says.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, giraffe numbers have declined by almost 30% in just over three decades to approximately 111,000 in the wild.
“Giraffes have a very difficult start to life, and they have difficult plights they face in the wild,” Armstrong says.
Deforestation and poaching are two of the major causes of the decline, but the conservation fund is hoping to learn more about the species to deter the loss.
“They’re putting trackers on giraffes to determine what their movements are so they can better figure out where giraffes are located on the continent of Africa,” Armstrong says.
That kind of project needs major funding, prompting the Caldwell Zoo to raise money in honor of World Giraffe Day. Kids were able to feed the 5 giraffes living at the Caldwell Zoo, and the adults could purchase artwork painted by the tallest artists in the world.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience to feed a giraffe and see them and help them to grow up and be able to witness the beautiful life that they lead,” giraffe lover Brenna says.
The Caldwell Zoo says they were able to raise $600 last year, and they’re hoping to double that this year.