Elephants and giraffes are two of the most magnificent animals to walk the earth. However, their existence on this planet is threatened by a variety of factors ranging from climate change to human encroachment.
The African elephant is the largest land animal, and it boasts a lifespan of 60-70 years in the wild. However, these majestic creatures are under threat from habitat loss and poaching. The population of African elephants has decreased dramatically over the last decade. It was estimated that around 415,000 elephants existed in Africa in 1995-96. Today, only about 415,000 elephants exist on the continent. This significant decrease in population is due to habitat loss, which is caused by agricultural expansion, human settlements, and extractive activities such as mining.
Poaching also poses a significant threat to the existence of elephants. Ivory poaching, in particular, is a lucrative business that drives poachers to kill elephants illegally just for their tusks. The increasing demand for ivory in Asia has incentivized poachers to kill elephants at an alarming rate. Conservationists do what they can to stop poaching, but the struggle has been ongoing for many years.
Giraffes also face significant challenges to their existence. These gentle giants are recognized by their long necks, unique patterns, and peaceful nature. However, giraffe populations have declined drastically over the past few decades. According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the total population of giraffes decreased by approximately 40% between 1985 and 2015.
The biggest threat to giraffes is habitat loss, just like with African elephants. Giraffes need large areas of savannahs to graze, and the rapid development of human settlements and agricultural practices has reduced their habitats, limiting their food sources and access to water. Climate change adds to their challenge, and as a result of temperature increases, an increase in drought periods has been claimed by scientists to result in a decline in giraffe populations.
Another challenge that giraffes face is illegal hunting, which has increased because of bush-meat trade. Bush-meat traders go after giraffes for their meat and medicinal purposes. These traders are often people who struggle to make a living and see no other option but to hunt wildlife illegally to earn a profit.
In conclusion, the threat to elephants and giraffes emerged due to a combination of natural and human-made factors. However, efforts to conserve them continue unrelentingly. To conserve these magnificent mammals, it is imperative to continue offering education and raising awareness about their significance, their continued protection, and the significance of providing humans’ habitat and legalizing the harvest of such resources exclusively.