Big 5s

Ami Vitale

Photographer / Film-maker

“Giraffes are so mysterious and full of wonder. They will run away, then turn around and just stare at you, and then inch their way back towards you, because they’re as curious about us as we are about them. They can’t resist. That’s one good tip for any photographers out there: with giraffes, you just have to stop and stay still, and they will always turn around and come back.

Across Africa, giraffes’ numbers have dropped over 30 per cent in just three decades, plummeting from approximately 155,000 in the late 1980s to some say 110,000, some say even 100,000 today. The reticulated giraffe number fewer than 16,000 and then there are two other species of giraffe that are ‘critically endangered’, whose numbers are even fewer. The West African giraffe are down to only 600 remaining in the world. There is some poaching but the main reason is habitat. Habitat is the single most important issue we all need to be focused on. Giraffes definitely need our help.

I spent time with the West African giraffe last year. West African giraffes are the most adorable animals. There’s an incredible story unfolding in Niger. That animal was down to just 49 of them left on the planet. They were poached almost to complete extinction. The government of Niger realized they had only 49 left. This is a very impoverished country with little infrastructure. They’re also struggling with terrorist groups like Boko Haram, and to make wildlife a priority as something they should protect and save is extraordinary.

They went into the communities and told them, “Look, we only have 49 of these left. We have to protect them.” The communities over the past two decades have been protecting these animals. Now, there are over 600. That is one of the most successful conservation stories of the century. These are the kind of stories I want to focus my energy on, because if they can be out there protecting this animal, why can’t all of us?”

www.amivitale.com
giraffeconservation.org
www.instagram.com/amivitale

Photo by Ami Vitale

My Big 5

    Giraffe
    Ethiopian Wolf
    African Wild Dog
    Mountain Gorilla
    Aye-aye

Ami Vitale

Photographer / Film-maker

“Giraffes are so mysterious and full of wonder. They will run away, then turn around and just stare at you, and then inch their way back towards you, because they’re as curious about us as we are about them. They can’t resist. That’s one good tip for any photographers out there: with giraffes, you just have to stop and stay still, and they will always turn around and come back.

Across Africa, giraffes’ numbers have dropped over 30 per cent in just three decades, plummeting from approximately 155,000 in the late 1980s to some say 110,000, some say even 100,000 today. The reticulated giraffe number fewer than 16,000 and then there are two other species of giraffe that are ‘critically endangered’, whose numbers are even fewer. The West African giraffe are down to only 600 remaining in the world. There is some poaching but the main reason is habitat. Habitat is the single most important issue we all need to be focused on. Giraffes definitely need our help.

I spent time with the West African giraffe last year. West African giraffes are the most adorable animals. There’s an incredible story unfolding in Niger. That animal was down to just 49 of them left on the planet. They were poached almost to complete extinction. The government of Niger realized they had only 49 left. This is a very impoverished country with little infrastructure. They’re also struggling with terrorist groups like Boko Haram, and to make wildlife a priority as something they should protect and save is extraordinary.

They went into the communities and told them, “Look, we only have 49 of these left. We have to protect them.” The communities over the past two decades have been protecting these animals. Now, there are over 600. That is one of the most successful conservation stories of the century. These are the kind of stories I want to focus my energy on, because if they can be out there protecting this animal, why can’t all of us?”

Photo by Ami Vitale

My Big 5

    Giraffe
    Ethiopian Wolf
    African Wild Dog
    Mountain Gorilla
    Aye-aye

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