~Signature Member~~Associate Member~
This is a painting of a Maasai giraffe and her calf having breakfast together. I saw many giraffe families on my trip to The Mara region of Kenya, but I found this sub-species to be the most beautiful and unique. Did you know that giraffes are poached for their tails, which are coveted as a status symbol? This is not the only reason why the tallest mammal in the world is slowly sliding into extinction. Habitat loss, hunting for bush meat, and trophy hunting are also contributing factors. You would think because there are so many giraffes roaming about in zoos and television shows that there are endless numbers, but no, giraffe numbers have plumeted 40% in the last thirty years. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has recently declared that Masai giraffe, widely dispersed over Kenya and Tanzania, is now endangered.
This painting also shows the Acacia tree, my favorite, in the background, which is the giraffe's main food source in the wild. Dense areas of flourishing acacia trees are in decline due to increasing water stress and the encroachment of human activity into their ecosystem. (phys.org) Fortunately, there are conservation efforts in place to reestablish the Acacia and to also educate the public. We can all do our own little part by spreading the word.