Captured by photographer Ari Vitale in Kenya, the image delicately portrays the harsh reality of reticulated giraffes in Africa: due to deforestation and poaching, the number of individuals of this species has fallen by 40% since the late 1980s.
Although the awareness of caring for the environment and living beings is increasingly widespread across the planet, we still have to suffer from the presence of hunters and industries that attack the environment, destroy habitats and sacrifice species to achieve their extractive goals and purposes .
For this reason, many species of animals are having their survival threatened on this planet and there are fewer and fewer spaces where they can safely transit and inhabit.
In Africa, specifically at the Sarara Camp nature sanctuary, located on the northern border of Kenya, American photographer Ami Vitale portrayed a moment that could be described as tender and sad at the same time.
In a photo posted on National Geographic’s Instagram, where Vitale is a contributing photographer, a reticulated giraffe (or Somali giraffe) receives a hug and affection from Lekupania, one of the sanctuary’s carers. In the meantime, the animal wraps its long neck over the man, as if he wanted to be hugged.
The publication also explains that this giraffe, father and mother orphan due to extermination, was rehabilitated and returned to its natural habitat, like several of its colleagues in the past. However, now reticulated giraffes are going through a difficult time, which many have termed “silent extinction”.
The population of giraffes in Africa is suffering a progressive decline over time: reports say that in the last 40 years, the number of giraffes has fallen by 40%, from 155,000 in the late 1980s to less than 10,000 today. As we mentioned at the beginning, the main causes of this decline are the loss of their natural habitat, fragmentation and poaching.
This crisis occurs far away, on another continent, but we are also witnessing the extinction of our endemic species in Latin America: felines, birds, and a long list of animals whose world is diminishing.
And while this story is not going to make fewer poachers in the world, or stop industries from stopping deforestation, we are interested in saying that we are aware of the matter and that our mission is to extend the information to all of you.