6 min read

Kickstarter Campaign for New Documentary To Raise Awareness for Giraffe Conservation

My name is Ashley Scott Davison and I am a film Director at Iniosante Studios located outside of Austin, Texas. Currently my crew and I are working on producing a new documentary film about giraffe conservation called, "Last of the Longnecks."

Represented in educational curriculums, zoos, product advertisements, animated motion pictures, and international logos ranging from the FIFA World Cup to the Olympic Games, the giraffe is a mainstay in the world of iconography. Yet how can the animal be so loved for its unique image yet the majority of the world be so oblivious to how close giraffes are to being totally wiped out? People and corporations making assumptions about where giraffes are located in Africa certainly help the cause. Take this tweet from Delta Airlines during the World Cup (which they later pulled), they used the Statue of Liberty to portray the USA but inaccurately used a giraffe to represent Ghana, a country in West Africa where no giraffes exist. In truth, there is just so much that even the experts do not know about the state of wild giraffes.

The birth of rare twin giraffes at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in 2013 was the catalyst for our studio to get involved with giraffes, but when I became truly passionate about creating this film was after learning that giraffe population numbers have essentially been cut in half since 1999. And while most people have heard the gut-wrenching stories of elephant poaching for the illegal ivory trade, there are few who are aware that there are now six times as many elephants in Africa as there are giraffes. One type of giraffe, called a Reticulated Giraffe (there are nine types of giraffes by the way), has seen an 80% decline in their population in less than ten years... that's eight-zero-percent. As one Kenyan researcher put it, "Giraffes are marching silently into extinction."

Sadly, if the current trend continues to spiral downwards out of control, then we could see the end of many wild giraffes, including Reticulated Giraffes by as soon as 2020. Its a worst case scenario but a reality nonetheless. To date, no mainstream documentaries have been made which bring awareness to this demise of our world's tallest and arguably most recognizable animal. That's why the Iniosante film crew has been working so hard with Researchers and Conservationists across the globe; to document what makes these majestic animals so unique, to further understand their epic struggle, and to explore what can be done to help save them. Our film, LAST OF THE LONGNECKS seeks to raise these questions up to a larger audience and bring this issue to reality on a global platform.

Our Kickstarter page has a full documentary synopsis as well as our first teaser video, further illustrating the importance of this pressing cause and our campaign to make a difference.

The time is now and the need is high, but nothing changes if the word doesn't get out. Awareness then becomes the first and greatest step in creating a positive, lasting change. I believe that working together we can stop wild giraffes from losing ground. It would mean a great deal if The Dodo readers could share this story and spread awareness of the overwhelming need for increased giraffe conservation. Naturally, if you feel compelled to stick your neck out and make a pledge to financially support this project through Kickstarter then my team and I shout a heartfelt THANK YOU!

Clearly most people care about giraffes, the question is, do we care enough to do something about it?