Africa’s gentle giants on screen

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This week in among all the many programmes devoted to the Euro 2016 football matches and information about the EU Referendum, there is a fascinating natural history documentary on Thursday night at 8pm on BBC2.

Called Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants it should interest anyone who cares about conservation. Giraffes are for many people, one of the most fascinating of animals. However strangely not all that much is known about them. However one man, Dr. Julian Fennessy, has devoted some twenty years of his life to studying these graceful creatures. In that time he has discovered that sadly the giraffe has become extinct in seven countries already and that their number has been reduced by about forty per cent in the last twenty years. Therefore if we do not do something about it, then before long, they might completely disappear from planet earth. This would be dreadful for a number of reasons, not least because giraffes provide a useful function as pollinators and seed spreaders of many important trees.

This documentary – narrated by Sir David Attenborough – looks at the work of Dr. Fennessy and his mission to round up twenty of the rarest giraffes in order to take them across the Nile so that they can enjoy a better life. One particularly memorable scene is of a number of giraffes being transported across the river in a boat.

Seeing these wonderful creatures in this situation is somewhat unusual to say the least. This is very much a programme in which you will learn more about the giraffe and why it is important that we ensure that we do all we possibly can to save them from extinction.

Ian K