“However much you know giraffes, to see one in the wild for the first time feels prehistoric.” Jane Goodall, British ethologist.

It took over six million years of evolution to create the modern giraffe whom we have come to adore today and have called earth its home for over 1 million years.

Described as confident, unique, majestic, and graceful, giraffes are truly a beautiful species to behold.

Until recently, giraffes, also known as ‘Africa’s Gentle Giant’, were labeled as one species.  Although the results are still up for discussion, through research and DNA, it was discovered that there are 4 distinct species of giraffes as well as five subspecies. They Include:  


Also known as the three-horned giraffe, resides in Kenya and Southwest Ethiopia and includes three sub-species.

  • WEST AFRICAN GIRAFFE: (Also referred to as the Nigerian Giraffe) resides in Niger.
  • NUBIAN GIRAFFE: (Also referred to as the Baringo or Ugandan Giraffe) resides in South Sudan, and parts of Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya.
  • KORDOFAN GIRAFFE: Resides mostly in the Garamba National Park located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Also known as the two-horned Giraffe, resides in the woodlands and savannahs in parts of Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia and includes two sub-species.

  • SOUTH AFRICAN GIRAFFE: (Also referred to as the Cape Giraffe) resides in Northern Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, in what is called the horn of Africa.
  • ANGOLAN GIRAFFE: (Also referred to as the Smokey Giraffe) resides in parts of Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.


Also referred to as the Somali Giraffe, resides in Northern Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, in what is called the horn of Africa.


Also referred to as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe, is the most common type of giraffe and resides in Kenya and Tanzania. Being the largest of all giraffes, it also makes it the tallest animal in the world and has the proud honor of being Tanzania’s national animal.

Each species has their own distinctive coat with unique shaped patterns and marking.

Giraffes Unique Coat Patterns and Designs. Earth Touch Newsnetwork


The above chart included patterns for nine different giraffes. You may be wondering why the Thornicroft and Rothschild giraffes were not included in your list. The Rothschilds giraffe is believed to be genetically linked to the Nubian giraffe, while the Thornicroft giraffe is thought to be too similar to the Masai giraffe. Further research is ongoing to see if they should be considered a subspecies.


Even though these towering animals have roamed Africa for over a million years their population has plummeted by 40% in the last three decades. 

These gentle giants have been completely wiped off the map in many regions due to many challenges including habitat loss, poaching, international trading of their parts including their bones and hides (which is still allowed in the United States), disease, civil war, and draughts, to name a few.

According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), considered to be the world’s leading authority on global species who face the risk of extinction, has found that giraffes are “vulnerable,” meaning they face a “high risk” of extinction in the wild. 

Below is the IUCN current assessment of Africa’s giraffes population.

IUCN Current Status of the Endangered Giraffe Northern Giraffe, Southern Giraffe, Reticulated Giraffe, and the Masai Giraffe


The following is a list of organizations doing to best to protect and prevent these beautiful creatures from disappearing forever.

African Wildlife Foundation

Born Free Foundation

Giraffe Conservation.org (GCF)

Save Giraffes Now

Somali Giraffe Project

Wild Nature Institute.org

International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPC)

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Hellen Keller

These organizations can’t do it alone.  Many people aren’t even aware that giraffes are endangered.  World Giraffe Day is celebrated on June 21st., This day provides the perfect opportunity to start a conversation with friends and family about these innocent victims.

By working together today we can help save Earth’s endangered animals from becoming a Figment of our Imagination TOMORROW!

Our Mascot Figment needs your help saving his endangered friends. If you love Giraffes as much as we do Become an Endangered Species Hero by sharing this post.

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