There is this rare skin disease that has taken down a huge number of giraffes from Kenyan reserves.
The mysterious condition, which is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, causes grayish, crusty lesions on giraffe necks and legs.
An unknown disease killing our giraffes, this one unfortunately died yesterday 😭
🦒 🦒 pic.twitter.com/xyEtGJoEtL
— Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy (@SabuliWildlife) March 15, 2021
It’s unknown what, if any, environmental factors are to blame, or even if it’s a compilation of several diseases that attack the skin of the world’s tallest mammals, the Giraffes.
But what scientists do know is that it’s a possible threat to giraffes, which have declined by the thousands in the past 15 years, mostly due to habitat loss and poaching.
“Compared with well-studied African herbivores like elephants, giraffes are kind of the forgotten megafauna,” says Jenna Stacy-Dawes, research coordinator for San Diego Zoo Global.
But as giraffe numbers fall, more scientists have shifted their attention to this “silent extinction”—and how to stop it, she says.