2017, in so many ways, is the year of the giraffe.
There have been multiple international giraffe births already this year and while it is somewhat magical -- albeit, a little gross -- to see these creatures fall 1.5 metres into the world, their births carry a significance far greater than human-drive mania about a baby animal.
World Giraffe Day is an annual event run by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) to raise awareness for the conservation of giraffes. Each year has a different focus, underpinned by the aim to conserve the giraffe's natural habitats in Africa, as well as working to set up a sustainable future for the world's tallest creatures.
There have been a number of international giraffe births in captivity in 2017, including one very recently in Monarto Zoo in South Australia. These are extremely important in helping boost the population of giraffes. Just last year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the giraffe as a species vulnerable to extinction, where there are approximately 80,000 of them left in the wild. The GCF reports that there has been a 36-40 percent decrease in giraffe populations since 1985.
Australia's most successful giraffe breeding program finds its home in Monarto Zoo in South Australia. On Wednesday, the zoo finally named the two-month-old giraffe twins that were born in April. The calves were given African names, Thando and Mabuti. Thando means 'love' in the Zulu language and Mabuti means 'boots' in Swahili. The two babies are the 40th and 41st giraffes born at the zoo.
Perhaps the most famous giraffe of 2017 is April, who gathered a near cult following after her very long pregnancy. The world was hooked to the 'Animal Adventure Park Live Cam', waiting as she passed her mid-February due date, eventually giving birth in April.
In celebration of World Giraffe Day, people have posted on social platforms, as their way of celebrating and spreading the message that these tall, tranquil and terrific creatures need to be conserved. Here are some of the best pictures from Instagram.
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