Masai Giraffe by artists Gillie and Marc

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NAME
Koinet

TITLE
Love The Masai Giraffe

GENDER
Male

AGE
15

FOUND
East Africa

CONSERVATION STATUS
Endangered

This 15-year-old male feels very big and strong. He knows that he is a match for any other giraffe who comes his way and has been very successful in fighting for his right to mate. But with all of his success he is still in trouble. Humans have made things very difficult for him. They have taken his home and have often taken a shot at him (good thing he’s so quick!) He wishes they would leave him alone but they won’t. He must always remain vigilant and ready for any attack.

The tallest living animal in the world, the giraffe tower over the savannas of Africa. It’s good that they do because a group of giraffes is aptly named a tower! These groups usually are of 10-20 members who can come and go as they please. They move around, searching for mimosa and acacia trees where they get their food, spending only 20 minutes each day sleeping. The spotty pattern on their coat is unique to each animal, just like our fingerprints. The Masai Giraffe has distinctive, irregular, jagged, star-like spots.

Giraffes give birth standing up, a bit of a heart-wrenching thought when you think how far the newborn baby will have to fall, a whopping 5 feet! These hardy babies are even more impressive in that they can stand after half an hour and even run 10 hours after they are born. The newborns are very vulnerable to predators and spend the first few weeks hiding. If a predator approaches, the mother will stand over her calf and kick the threat away with her long legs. Mothers and calves travel with other mothers and calves in nursing herds, keeping each other safe as a group. Occasionally a mother may want to leave to forage or drink away from the herd, leaving her baby in the care of another female, this is called a calving pool. If a threat appears the responsible female will alert her own calf, the other babies will catch on and follow.

It wasn’t until quite recently that it was discovered that giraffes can be separated into different species. In 2016 a study claimed that there are four; southern giraffe (which has two subspecies), northern giraffe (which has three subspecies), reticulated giraffe, and Masai giraffe. The study claimed that the species did not interbreed and had not for 1-2 million year.

As a whole, the giraffe is listed as vulnerable but the Masai and reticulated species are endangered. The Masai populations have been estimated to have declined by 52% in the past few decades, mainly due to habitat loss and poaching. As agriculture moves into the savannas and the need for firewood increases in those areas, they lose their land and also their favourite acacia trees, making it harder for them to find food. Their tail is also used for good-luck bracelets, fly whisks and thread.

HOW TO HELP 
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals. 

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/

PARTNER


WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.

For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg

ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.

The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.

Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.

Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world. 

Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.

Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.

Please follow @gillieandmarcart 

If you are interested in buying art related to the Loved the Last March, you will also be directly helping real animals in the wild, with 30% of sales going to WWF to continue their fantastic work for animal conservation. Click here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march

 

SOURCES

https://www.wwf.sg/
https://www.iucn.org/
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/
https://www.awf.org/  

NAME
Ndwiga

TITLE
Love The Baby Masai Giraffe

GENDER
Male

AGE
3 months

FOUND
East Africa

CONSERVATION STATUS
Endangered

This little baby is very young but he can already do so much! He was able to walk around only 20 minutes after he was born and he has just gotten stronger from there. He has spent most of his time in a nursery herd, being protected by the mother cow on duty at the time and keeping an eye out for predators such as lions and hyenas. Now he’s old enough to join the herd. He can’t wait to walk around with all the big giraffes! 

The tallest species of giraffe, the Masai giraffe stands at a whopping 19 feet for males and 16 feet for females. But their height isn’t the only impressively large part about them. Their tongues can reach 18-20 inches in length, their feet are the size of dinner plates at 12 inches across, and their heart weighs an average of 25 pounds! This big heart pumps an incredible 60 litres of blood around their gigantic bodies every minute. To top off these gigantic creatures are two skin-covered horns called ossicones.

Masai giraffes spend most of their days feeding, spending 16-20 hours either looking or munching away. In total, they put away about 75 pounds of food. Luckily for them, they don’t have to use their last remaining hours of the day sleeping. Masai giraffes sleep very little, needing only 5-30 minutes each day. Usually, they break this up into quick naps lasting about a minute or two.

Males reach sexual maturity between 3-5 but they usually won’t actually get to mate until their around the age of 7. They have to earn that right. And this involves proving their dominance by fighting with other bulls in their bachelor herds. In a battle called ‘necking’, the two males go neck to neck, literally. Hitting their necks together, they can either be gentle practice for young males or very fierce. The aim is not to kill each other but injuries can happen. The battle can go on for 30-60 minutes. 

Once the most populous of the giraffe species, the population of Masai giraffes have plummeted. Their biggest threats are the rapidly growing and expanding human populations and settlements, habitat loss and fragmentation due to expanding agricultural and pastoral use, poaching for bushmeat and traditional medicine, and drought. Desperate conservation action is needed to make sure the already dwindling population of this majestic giant doesn’t fall anymore.

HOW TO HELP 
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals. 

With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals. 

​The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.

To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/

PARTNER


WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.

For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg

SOURCES

https://animalcorner.org/animals/masai-giraffe/ https://giraffeconservation.org/giraffe-species/masai/https://racinezoo.org/masai-giraffe-fact-sheet https://www.giraffeworlds.com/masai-giraffe/ https://www.masaimara.travel/masai-giraffe-kenya.php https://www.mammalage.com/masai-giraffe/ https://similarbutdifferentanimals.com/2020/11/23/what-is-giraffe-necking/ https://giraffeconservation.org/programmes/masai-giraffe-in-tanzania/