Sticking their necks out for giraffes

November 03 2017

PUPILS from St Anne’s CE School in Oldland Common who buried a time capsule at Wild Place Project earlier this year have returned to the attraction to visit its newest inhabitants.

PUPILS from St Anne’s CE School in Oldland Common who buried a time capsule at Wild Place Project earlier this year have returned to the attraction to visit its newest inhabitants.

The boys and girls visited Wild Place Project to meet three new giraffe and find out about the work the attraction is doing to protect the creatures in the wild.

Their previous visit was arranged by Keynsham-based construction specialists Dribuild who built the giraffe house. The pupils had a tour of the site and buried a time capsule.

Now they have returned with Dribuild’s business development manager to look around the new £1.1 million exhibit, see the three new long-legged inhabitants and meet one of the organisation’s conservation experts.

Osiris Doumbe, a conservation lecturer for Bristol Zoological Society, which operates Bristol Zoo and Wild Place Project, explained about the society’s project to help save giraffe.

He said: "It’s great to be able to welcome the children back here to show them how much the attraction has developed and to find out about the threats facing giraffe in Africa.

"Giraffe numbers have fallen from 140,000 to less than 80,000 in just 15 years. Having the opportunity to share our work with young wildlife enthusiasts is a great way of inspiring the next generation of conservationists."

The giraffe exhibit at Wild Place, off junction 17 of the M5, links with Bristol Zoological Society’s field conservation project in Cameroon, to help save one of the few populations of Kordofan giraffe left in the wild. Kordofan giraffe are under threat from habitat loss due to huge herds of cattle in the area and poaching for bushmeat. 

Conservationists from Bristol Zoological Society are currently undertaking a critical research effort to map the habitat and conduct a population census of some of the remaining Kordofan giraffe using drone technology.

They hope to establish whether there is a sustainable population of this highly threatened giraffe subspecies that they can work to conserve and help save from extinction.

To support this conservation effort, the school pupils will now raise money to help pay for new motion-sensor cameras for Society conservationists to take out to Cameroon to support their population monitoring work.

Bristol Zoological Society, which owns Wild Place Project and Bristol Zoo Gardens, is a conservation and education charity that relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

To find out more about Wild Place Project visit www.wildplace.org.uk