The HSUS calls on the United States to stand tall and provide enhanced protections for giraffes

By on April 19, 2017 with 10 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

What kind of person shoots a giraffe to obtain a trophy? How difficult is it to shoot the tallest animal in the world? Imagine seeing a creature this size crumple to the ground after a trophy hunter’s bullets tear through the beautiful, patterned fur markings and into the creature’s flesh?

As the largest importer of hunting trophies in the world, including giraffe trophies, and a major importer of giraffe bone for use in knife handles, the United States has played a major role in the decline of giraffe populations. Today The HSUS, Humane Society International, the Center for Biological Diversity, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition with the Department of the Interior seeking “endangered” status for all giraffes under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

The decline in giraffe numbers is unmistakable and severe, amounting to a loss of nearly 40 percent over the last 30 years.

The wild giraffe population (found entirely on the African continent), is estimated to number at 97,560, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are four times more elephants than giraffes in the wild, and some giraffe subspecies, such as the reticulated giraffe, are in particular peril.

Together, trophy hunters, bush meat poachers, bone traders, wildlife traffickers (for bones, hides, and tails), and consumers are compounding the problems created by habitat destruction.

[Related: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, do your job and protect giraffes, or we’ll see you in court]

Our petition reveals that between 2006 and 2015, U.S. trophy hunters imported 3,744 giraffe hunting trophies — an average of more than one giraffe trophy per day. It is sickening to contemplate that someone gets a thrill from shooting an animal that’s about as difficult to spot and stalk as a small construction crane. During this same decade, the United States also imported 21,402 giraffe bone carvings, 4,789 bones, and 3,008 skin pieces. Some safari companies even offer giraffe bow-hunting, with one claiming that “the sheer mass of the animal allows it to take a tremendous amount of hammering before it will go down.” Can we truly subject these beautiful animals to such cruelty?

Currently, no U.S. or international law protects giraffes against over-exploitation from trade in trophies, skins, or bones. An “endangered” listing would give giraffes the highest level of protection, resulting in a near-total restriction on U.S. imports and sales. As a global leader in conservation, the United States should act now to save these gentle giants from extinction and further senseless killings.

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Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Linda says:

    I had know idea that people killed giraffes for trophy hunting, until last year when a lady was in FB proudly laying next to one, I can’t take this sorrow anymore. This goes beyond inhumanity. It is heart breaking that these graceful animals are looked at as a trophy and not a beautiful animal that we want to let live and be free. This has to stop and what is wrong with the people who allow it! People have gone so crazy, and all for money and the sport of killing!

  2. Theresa Bowman Barnes says:

    Heartless Humans who have no Compassion for Any Life in General. Sadly, People need to change, or there will be no life left on Earth. Killing helpless Animals is Murder, that’s not a Sport. But when you have no respect for Life, there is nothing left. God help us good Humans, and save innocent Animals from the hands of Murderers. As long as Good try to protect the innocent, then we have a chance to change the Cold Hearted World of people we live amongst.

  3. Emily Lundgren says:

    Stop the slaughter of giraffes!

  4. RDF says:

    The trophy hunters are mostly regular people or the very well heeled. ALL of these people own businesses or invest, frequent businesses, and so they should be targeted for boycott. Boycott all their businesses, all what they invest in, and shame them publicly.
    Their homes contain these trophies, airlines or ships brought them and their slaughtered body parts. BOYCOTT THEM TOO.

  5. Melissa Ann Lopez says:

    why are people so ignorant to animals being social animals and an important part of our ecosystem. An animal has a right to live due to simply living. They don’t have a voice so we as humans need to step up. I’m tired of ignorant and selfish people thinking their lives are more important than an animals. To kill an animal is to have a disregard for life.

  6. Loretta Tome Huson says:

    Save the Giraffes, put them on the endangered species list, start a petition ASAP!!! 😞🦒🦒 They’re a very gentle and gorgeous animal, what the hell are people who just want to trophy hunt doing killing these sweet animals!!!??!!! Bastards!!!!

  7. Fran Leard says:

    This cruel trophy hunting must be stopped by these sick millionaires who have nothing better to do with their time and money. It’s a sin and an outrage and I have no respect for Fish & Game. They should be shut down for this total disregard for all our innocent wildlife.

  8. Susan L. says:

    killing Any animal is Wrong unless it is to Save Your Life. Most of the Worlds population do NOT want Any animal killed, but the rich care only about making more money, & showing off the animal kills. Not about Other people, who wish to See these animals in their Natural Habitat. Girraffs are such a Magnificent, Beautiful, Peaceful Animal. So unlike any other. Why do these rich, unfeeling people feel they Must Kill large animals ? Cruel, mean, selfish people. All animals & birds have a Right to Live on this Earth. ALL COUNTRIES MUST BAN IMPORTS OF.ALL ANIMALS MURDERED BY TROPHY HUNTERS….ALL,
    ESPECIALLY THE U.S.A. We strive to show the World how to be Humane yet we allow the Import of these body parts. We are so wrong. All animals should Only be shot…WITH A CAMERA.. !

  9. Patricia Solari says:

    This is shocking news not to mention deeply disturbing. It is so hard to understand the “mind” of someone who would commit such a crime. What has happened to people’s hearts???

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