SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– It’s hard for people like Matt Corrie, an African animal expert with the Dickerson Park Zoo, to imagine a world without the giraffes he sees every day. Sadly, for Matt, that’s something he recently had to do after he says the gentle giants were classified as “vulnerable” to extinction.
“In 2016, they got listed on the ‘Vulnerable List’ with the IUCN,” Corrie says.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an organization focusing on the world’s most at-risk species.
The ‘vulnerable’ classification recently given to Giraffes sits just above endangered.
Corrie says that makes sense considering the recent giraffe population drop.
“It’s dropped about 30 percent in the last 30 years total,” Corrie says.
There is good news for lovers of these exotic and nearly-endangered creatures.
“[Population] has actually gone up a little since 2016,” Corrie says. “When they were listed, they thought the population was under 100,000 but now they’re looking at 110,000-111,000.”
Corrie says that number still isn’t great, but he says at least it’s progress.
BELOW: WATCH A LIVE INTERVIEW WITH CORRIE DURING KOLR10’S 5 PM BROADCAST