According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Americans have imported 21,402 bone carvings, 3,008 skin pieces, and 3,744 miscellaneous hunting trophies from giraffes since 2008, with at least 3,700 giraffes being slaughtered for these items.
Placing giraffes on the endangered list would mean there would be heavy restrictions placed on Americans who travel to Africa to hunt the animal and bring back any of its remains. A hunter would have to “somehow demonstrate the taking of the giraffe trophy was helping sustain the species.”
The petition states that the US is “uniquely positioned to help conserve these tall, graceful and iconic animals”.
Adding: “Considering the ongoing threats to giraffes and their small remaining populations, now is the time for Endangered Species Act protections for this seriously and increasingly imperiled species.”
Earlier this week, the DSWT/KWS Meru Vet Unit were in action to remove a snare that was cutting deep into the leg of this male giraffe causing a painful wound. In good news, the stricken giraffe was soon back on his feet, free at last & looking greatly relieved! pic.twitter.com/dgGodeMxY9
— Sheldrick Wildlife (@DSWT) March 23, 2018
Jeff Flocken, the North America regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) acknowledges that the U.S. could not do much to prevent the actual killing of giraffes, but regulating the imported trophies of giraffes from Africa would be a “significant” step in halting the population decline.
“In the past few years, several gruesome images of trophy hunters next to slain giraffe bodies have caused outrage, bringing this senseless killing to light,” Masha Kalinina, international trade policy specialist with Humane Society International said.
“Currently, no US or international law protects giraffes against overexploitation for trade. It is clearly time to change this. As the largest importer of trophies in the world, the role of the United States in the decline of this species is undeniable, and we must do our part to protect these animals,” Kalinina added.
Watch Vets And Rangers Work Together To Save Giraffes From Poachers:
According to The Guardian, the Fish & Wildlife Service has 90 days to respond to the petition and determine whether a listing may be warranted, under federal guidelines. It can take the agency more than a year to assess and decide on the request.
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