The Wild Nature Institute honored World Giraffe Day 2023 on 21 June with a celebration involving primary school students and Maasai women groups living in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem, one of the most important ecosystems for giraffes in Tanzania. The aim was to share with the community that the giraffe population is declining. We used arts and crafts, songs and dances, and talks from experts about giraffes to share this message.
The students drew pictures of giraffes, and the Maasai women designed giraffe-themed handicrafts, and other items such as pots, cups, and plates that were spotted like giraffe spots using clay soil. Some women used beads to make bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that represented giraffes. James Madeli, Wild Nature Institute’s Tanzanian research coordinator, spoke with the community members about how giraffes are surviving in the wild. He noted that the giraffe population is declining due to loss of habitat, poaching, and climate change effects. The Maasai play a big role in conservation by protecting rangelands for their livestock, thus benefiting wild animals too.
Every group presented what they had created, and sang traditional songs for giraffe day. This was an exciting part of the event because everyone was happily showing off and making fun drama and competing to be the best group. We also handed out World Giraffe Day t-shirts to participants.
The event closed with soft drinks and delicious food that was cooked by the villagers themselves. The groups sent words of gratitude to the Wild Nature Institute and all our partners in conservation who helped make this event possible. It was indeed an educational—but most importantly FUN—week, from the schools to the community. More than 200 women, men, and children were reached on World Giraffe Day.
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