Giraffes may not be the first animals to come to mind when we think about endangered species, but it might not be long before these majestic creatures disappear from the face of the earth. Thanks to a combination of poaching and habitat loss, giraffe populations have dwindled by nearly 50 percent over the last 10 years, and even the newly defined species may face extinction. The good news is that we can help: there are many organizations dedicated to protecting and saving these gentle, graceful animals, who are loving parents and form strong family bonds; they’ve even been known to kill lions in defense of their calves! They also like to play tag with ostriches, as the baby giraffe in the video demonstrates.

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Many people in Tanzania believe that consuming giraffe flesh (particularly bone marrow and brain tissue) will cure HIV/AIDS, and other giraffe body parts are used for all manner of items; their tails in particular are considered to be status symbols, and are often used as flyswatters. It’s believed that there are only 80,000 wild giraffes left across all of Africa, and that number is plummeting quickly. They are intelligent, beautiful beings in danger of being wiped out, and they need our help.

If you’d like to donate towards their care and conservation, please visit one of the websites listed below.

 + Giraffe Conservation Foundation

+ African Wildlife Foundation

+ Wildlife Conservation Site

+ World Wildlife Fund – Giraffes