West African giraffes in Niger are on the brink of extinction

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It is for years, Niger’s Giraffe or the Giraffa camelopardalis peralta have been on the brink of extinction. This is perhaps the only giraffes left in West Africa and the only giraffes in the world that still live in their natural habitat and not in nature preserves.

Be it road accidents or clearing of habitat to poaching, the giraffes are menaced more by human activity. A French ecologist, Jean-Patrick Suraud, researching on West Africa’s giraffes, informs that the villagers living in the area butchers the giraffes’ carcass and divvied up the meat fast.

It is easy for researchers to recognize them because of their unique features – having a pouty-lip, a long supple black tongue – adapted for feeding on thorny acacia plants, and an orange-sized brain. They have a unique set of spots resembling a human fingerprint.

Though, protective measures have been put into place to stop the once-rampant poaching, taking support of government organizations all seem to be in vain.

It is because villagers’ life outside the capital of Niamey is difficult, leading them to starve. So, there is not much to eat in the village. So, they have no other option than to feed on a giraffe when it is hit and killed on the road.

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