Learn More about giraffes
​​Helping Save The Giraffes 
Mission:  "To guarantee that giraffes are protected and preserved in their natural habitat."​​​

Vision:  "To support conservation research and education programs that strive to ensure the survival of giraffes and their ecosystems for future generations.”

 Last of the longnecks
Last of the Longnecks is a documentary highlighting the plight of giraffes in decline and the implications in our rapidly changing world. The film seeks to celebrate what makes these majestic animals so unique, shed light on their struggle, and further explore what hope can be found in the tangled relationship between humanity and nature. As the tallest animal on the planet, the giraffe is one of the most iconic representatives of our beautifully diverse planet. It seems fitting then, that in uncovering their quiet demise, we discover humanity's greatest challenge. The dedicated contingent of giraffe researchers and scientists across the globe labor restlessly, knowing that the diligent study of these animals may unlock solutions for their coexistence with humankind.

- Written by Ashley Scott Davison (Director/Producer)

Note:  Last Of The Longnecks was aired as Walking With Giraffes on ​Nat Geo Wild.      https://www.natgeotv.com/int/walking-with-giraffes/about  

A Love Affair with Long Necks ​​
Anne Dagg releases new book Smitten By Giraffe.  Famed zoologist Anne Dagg’s experience with Buddy, on the inaugural World Giraffe Day in June 2013, was an emotional interaction and one that brought tears to her eyes.  She marked it as the most intimate experience she has had with the species that she has devoted over 70 years of her life.  Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch was honored to host Dagg as part of their distinguished lecture series, providing an opportunity for her to meet and interact with not only Buddy, but also caregivers of giraffes from across the State of Texas.  A photo of Dagg & Buddy graces the cover of her new book, Smitten By Giraffe, a memoir of her life as a citizen scientist.  Her book can be found at  Amazon.com.

She blazed a trail to Africa as a zoologist in her 20’s to pursue her life’s love:  giraffe.  She was the first person in the world to extensively study giraffe in their natural habitat.  As a zoologist, professor and author, she has been an advocate for sustaining the habitat of these gentle giants for over 50 years.  With wild giraffe populations being in such dire peril, her legacy is an inspiration.


Since the birth of the twin giraffes, NBWR has hosted famed Canadian biologist Anne Dagg and Deacon as part of their distinguished lecture series, a program designed for animal keepers, biologists and zoologists interested in sharing and learning more about giraffe in the wild.  “Elephant are considered an endangered species, and yet giraffe, which are far fewer in number, are not,” says Dagg.   “We must work together to prevent the extermination of giraffe in the wild.”


 Global Authority Classifies Giraffe as Vulnerable Species ​
IUCN Classification Brings Awareness to Wild Giraffe Plight to Prevent Extinction.  IUCN’s red list of threatened species moved giraffe from least concern to vulnerable at their December 2016 meeting in Cancun, MX amid scientists and activists cry that there has been a 40 percent decline in the specifies since 1985.  “For years, we have been talking with scientists about how wild giraffe populations were shrinking.  In May, we celebrated Texas Giraffe Day to raise awareness of the wild giraffe plight; to do our part in making sure that everyone knew what was happening with these amazing creatures,” said Tiffany Soecthing, animal specialist at NBWR.  “The new IUCN classification is a gigantic step in recognizing the giraffe’s plight, so things can begin to change, and we can preserve these gentle giants for future generations.”  The vulnerable classification listed growing human population having a negative impact on many giraffe subpopulations, as well as illegal hunting, habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, human-wildlife conflict and civil unrest. A resolution adopted at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September called for action to reverse the decline of the giraffe.  “When we raise our voices, and work together, great things can happen,” said Soechting.  “I am grateful for our giraffe ambassadors, our media friends, our partners who have helped spread the word. “ 
 

Twins Birth Inspires Journey ​​​​
The birth of the twin giraffes at NBWR in May 2013 generated international news, and invigorated and connected those biologists and animal caretakers with a vested interest in reversing the alarming decline of giraffe in the wild.
Texas filmmaker Ashley Davison videoed the giraffe twins first week of life. Inspired by their rareness, he connected with the Giraffe Conservation Organization and researchers working with giraffe to learn more. What he learned was alarming, and since 2013 he has been producing a documentary called Last of the Longnecks to provide a glimpse on the reasons why giraffe are dying.

After almost 4 years of researching, planning, filming, and editing, the documentary Last of the Longnecks was invited to Washington DC’s Carnegie Institution of Science where it made its premiere at the Washington DC Environmental Film Festival.
When the world’s ninth recorded set of living giraffe twins were born at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Ashley Davison was asked to go out and film their first moments of life. That was the footage that was seen in news stories all around the world, including Good Morning America, CNN, and FOX News. The amazing interest brought about research that led to the alarming news of the true devastating plight of wild giraffes in Africa, despite the global classification by the renowned IUCN as ‘least concern’.
The DCEFF hosted a post presentation panel with Director, Ashley Davison, Producer, Catherine Land, and Animal Specialist of Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Tiffany Soechting. The festival also brought Dr. Francois Deacon to the US for the second time in his life and even invited him to the stage to join the panel after discussions began. During his first trip to the US in 2015, he spoke at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch to a group of giraffe caretakers.
Overall, the film was well-received by a crowded theater and attendees brought forth very insightful questions to the panel.

In 2015, Wasswa abrumpty fell ill and was lost.  The loss of her life was heartbreaking, but gave a stronger focus to the journey her birth began.  
 Giraffe Populations Are Shrinking​​​​​
With only five researchers dedicated to understanding the giraffe plight (there are over 50 researchers studying elephant), South Africa University of the Free State lecturer on wildlife management Francois Deacon has befriended Davison, and both worked together to develop a live action camera to place on a giraffe’s head to help identify key factors for their decline.
Fifty percent of the African giraffe population has diminished since 1999. “It’s a short timeframe for that type of [Dr. Francois Deacon doing field research in Africa] decline to occur,” said Deacon. “We are trying to determine “why” in order to influence better decision-making on conservation and management practices. If we don’t learn more about what’s causing their decline, we may lose this magnificent creature from our planet.”
From the team behind Nat Geo Wild's "Walking with Giraffes" -- lastofthelongnecks.com -- "Catching Giants" is a 1x60 documentary in production by iniosante inc to be filmed in Sep-Oct 2017 across the wilderness of untamed South Africa. 

Hindsight is 20/20… but in South Africa, this ratio of 20 researchers to 20 giraffes will provide information that will help save giraffes so that future generations will have the knowledge to turn this silent extinction around. The true value of "Catching Giants" lies in the fact that the results of this project and the discoveries of these world leading biologists can be applied to other giraffe populations throughout Africa and will be invaluable to wildlife managers and
conservationists throughout the continent. 


Directed & Produced by Ashley Scott Davison.
Written & Produced Catherine Land.
 
A team from Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch will be traveling to South Africa to be part of this monumental project.

Giraffe Ambassador Program Connects 
Texas Giraffes with Wild Giraffes ​​​
NBWR’s Giraffe Ambassador Program, which began in September 2015, educated 140 visitors on the giraffe’s plight in the wild, giraffe biology and care, and what visitors can do to help giraffe in the wild. Proceeds from the program were donated to Deacon’s research.
To learn a species endangered status for  animals that live on the ranch, NBWR relies on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List on Threatened Species, which is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species and their links to livelihoods. In December 2016, the IUCN reclassified giraffe from least concern to vulnerable. The reclassification is a significant step in assuring giraffe receive protection.
Researchers know that wild giraffes are dying at a rapid and unusual rate, and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is sounding the alarm, sharing information, supporting research, “I can’t imagine our planet without giraffe running wild,” said NBWR Animal Specialist Tiffany Soechting.

 Texas Giraffe Day​​​​​
May 10, 2016 marked the first Texas Giraffe Day, a Texas House of Representatives resolution that Rep. Doug Miller initiated in May 2015. The day commemorated the birth of rare twin giraffes born at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch (NBWR) AND sounded the alarm of giraffes plight in the wild.
Over half of the wild populations of giraffes have been lost in the last 15 years, and in the last 40 years 400,000 have been lost.