Giraffe: A Silent Extinction
The giraffe is an icon of Africa, yet in the last century giraffes have gone extinct in 7 countries and their numbers continue to fall dramatically. Over the course of a year, the film crew travel across the continent to join the fight to save these gentle giants and prevent a silent extinction.
DIRECTOR Q&A and STATEMENT
DIRECTOR: CHARLIE LUCKOCK
What attracted you to the story of your film?
I have spent a significant amount of time traveling Africa, yet to find out that giraffe are facing significant pressure from human impact was something I had never considered. Learning more about the topic, we felt there was merit to this idea of a “silent extinction”, that is occurring right in front of our eyes.
Why was it important to tell this story? / What do you hope your documentary will achieve?
Many of the charismatic species have received a lot of media coverage about the threats that they face. While giraffe are ubiquitous across much of Africa, their declining population statistics are shocking. We have worked with Giraffe Conservation Foundation in the past and they are making a tangible difference for the species – our aim was to bring some awareness to the plight of giraffe and what is being done to safeguard their future.
What should we know about your filmmaking process?
The filming itself took place across Niger, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. Learning about the different contexts where giraffe occur was fascinating and promoted us to explore a broad narrative with the aim of shining some light on the research taking place on the various species of giraffe, bringing home the message that science needs to inform conservation management if we’re to make wise decisions about protecting our wildlife.
Did you make any unexpected discoveries while shooting?
While scientists are aware of the status of giraffe numbers and classifications of the species/sub-species, I was incredulous to find out that there are only 600 West African giraffe left in the wild. I believe that this fact is relatively unknown to the general public as well!