A special fundraising event dedicated to the conservation of giraffes will be held at West Midland Safari Park during May half term.
Running from 26 May to 3 June, Giraffe Week offers visitors the chance to learn about the threats giraffes face in the wild and also highlight the work the Park does with its own herd.
A number of activities will be on offer throughout the week, including a giraffe-themed trail where clues detailed in a Giraffe Ranger Log Book will lead visitors to prizes once completed. Special talks offering more information about these majestic creatures and the efforts taken to protect and conserve them will also take place.
The park will also extend its opening hours during Giraffe Week, from 9.00am until 6.30pm, with all funds raised during the event going to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).
Katie McDonald, Research and Conservation Officer, said: “People seem aware of the threats to animals such as elephants and rhinos, but less aware of the precarious state of giraffe populations. Giraffe numbers have dropped almost 40% in the last 30 years, with loss of habitat being a major reason for the decline. Poaching and illegal hunting are also big problems. We hope by working with the GCF we can help to support the conservation of these beautiful animals.”
She continued: “Giraffes are already extinct in at least seven countries in Africa, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature listing giraffe as ‘Vulnerable’ in the wild. Major conservation efforts are required to prevent further decline, of which the GCF is dedicated to. We really hope that we can help to raise as much awareness as possible during Giraffe Week.’
GCF’s main aim is to assist the conservation and management of wild giraffe throughout Africa. Funds raised during Giraffe Week will go towards GCF’s Nubian (formerly Rothchild’s) Giraffe Conservation Programme in East Africa, which this year is working hard to help giraffe populations in Uganda. Further information can be found on their website: www.giraffeconservation.org/programmes/uganda-programme/.
Giraffe Week is included in the standard admission charge with further information and tickets available from the Park’s website www.wmsp.co.uk