The giraffe is an icon of Africa, thousands of tourists travel around the globe every year to see them in the wild, yet in the last century giraffes have gone extinct in 7 countries and their numbers continue to fall dramatically. Since the mid-eighties, giraffes have been on a steady decline. Population numbers have dwindled by 40%, leaving less than 70,000 adults in the wild. That is just one giraffe for every five African elephants, yet very few people are aware of their situation. Over the course of a year the film crew travel across the continent to join the fight to save these gentle giants, bringing awareness to their plight and ultimately, helping to prevent its silent extinction.
Since time immemorial, giraffes have captivated the human imagination. Yet the total giraffe population has fallen 30 percent in the past few decades, and very few people have seemed to notice. “Giraffes are all over the place in popular culture,” says the Atlantic staff writer Ed Yong. “I think because of that, we forget that, actually, they are endangered.” In a new episode of The Idea File, Yong explains why it’s crucial to channel our reverence for these beloved animals into tangible conservation efforts.