Lachlan McFeeters has a simple request for the Dubbo community on Wednesday: think about the plight of the giraffe.
Wednesday is World Giraffe Day. As Mr McFeeters puts it, it’s the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) to coincide with the tallest animal with the longest neck.
To acknowledge the day, about 20 cafes around Dubbo will have a giraffe print on the top of their coffees and hot chocolates.
Mr McFeeters said he hoped the simple act would encourage people to learn more about giraffe.
“It’s called the silent extinction. There are less than 100,000 giraffe left in the wild,” he said.
“A lot of people think about elephants and rhinos and that sort of species but not a lot of people think about giraffe being in trouble.”
Giraffe numbers have declined by 40 per cent in the last 30 years, Mr McFeeters said.
The two main reasons were due to habitat loss from expanding populations and poaching. The giraffe tail was seen as a trophy in some areas, Mr McFeeters said, and the animals were also killed for their meat.
“Basically, this year we’re just encouraging people to become more aware of it.
“Hopefully they’ll see this, they’ll wonder what’s going on – I’ve got some information I’ll be putting in cafes so they can have a bit of a read – and if they want they can throw a couple of dollars in the donation box.”
While raising money isn’t his primary goal, funds raised will go towards the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, which operates out of Namibia, Africa.
“They’re the only organisation focused solely on giraffe conservation. Not a lot of research is being done on giraffe but these guys are kind of at the forefront,” Mr McFeeters said.
While for now the giraffe-stenciled coffees will only be in Dubbo, the passionate conservationist said he was hoping some global changes would soon embrace the initiative.
“Everyone’s got a giraffe story, everyone loves them, but not many people know what’s happening,” Mr McFeeters said.