A rare giraffe is making a comeback in Niger. In 1996, there were only 50 West African giraffes living in southwestern Niger. Today, that number has grown to more than 300.
The AFP reports that the giraffa camelopardalis peralta was brought to the brink of extinction due to poaching, but recent conservation efforts have helped the population rebuild.
The environment ministry said:
“Efforts deployed by the government to protect the giraffes have borne fruit as their population has increased from about 50 in 1996 to 310 in 2011.”
The rare giraffes live near Koure, which is about an hour away from the capital Niamey. There are 146 male giraffes and 165 females. The Association to Safeguard the Giraffes of Niger (ASGN) is working to make sure that the animals remain protected. The ASGN is working with the French zoo of Doue La Fontaine on several community projects to preserve the rare giraffes.
Poaching is still a problem for the giraffes (two were killed by poachers in 2010) but highway traffic is also putting the animals in danger.
Here’s a video about the rare giraffes in Niger.