With their long necks and beautifully patterned coats, giraffes are among the world's most recognizable creatures.
Yet Americans are turning them into trinkets like saltshakers, knife handles and book covers in a gruesome wildlife trade that, in addition to habitat loss and poaching, is pushing these graceful icons toward extinction.
So we just sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for not protecting Africa's rapidly dwindling giraffe population.
You can help with a gift to the Saving Life on Earth Fund.
Protecting giraffes under the Endangered Species Act will curtail U.S. commercial imports of their parts and increase conservation funding, keeping them safer in the wild.
More than four years ago, we and our allies petitioned the Service to protect giraffes under the Act. The Service is supposed to decide in a year — but so far there's been no action.
Nearly 40% of Africa's giraffes have disappeared in the past three decades, yet the Service states the earliest it might make a decision on giraffes is 2025. Giraffes don't have time to wait, so we went to court to get a hard deadline and quicker help.
During a recent 10-year period, the United States imported a giraffe hunting trophy every day, on average, and more than 21,400 giraffe bone carvings. Many imported giraffe parts are turned into frivolous decorative items like pillows or rugs, or luxury goods like boots or giraffe bone cuff links.
And giraffe bone is increasingly substituted for elephant ivory in everything from gun and knife handles to guitar bridges.
Protections under the Act would help curb the barbarous wildlife trade in giraffe body parts and increase conservation funding for habitat protection and law enforcement.
Giraffes need urgent help to avoid going extinct. Instead the Wildlife Service is sitting on its hands as these animals lose their homes, suffer from poaching, and are converted into knickknacks.
We're losing nearly a species a day to the extinction crisis. We can't let giraffes slip further and further away.
Please help today with a gift to the Saving Life on Earth Fund.
For the wild,