Giraffes: Africa’s Venison, Eaten to Oblivion


Giraffes are considered as much on their way out as they are overpopulated. It really just depends who you ask and where. While the animal’s deemed a deer-like nuisance in some areas of Africa, giraffes are being taken to the cleaners by “a silent extinction,” according to the Director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Dr. Julian Fennessy.

“They produce a hell of a lot of meat,” says Fennessy, who holds the very rare title of world’s only full-time giraffe conservationist. “They are relatively easy to hunt, so you can see the attraction, but unless something is done to stop this and quickly we will have a bad situation on our hands.”

That bad situation is in progress. Africa’s giraffe population has plummeted roughly 40 percent in the last 15 years, dropping from 140,000 to 80,000. The reason is no surprise, as it seems to be the cause of species extinction: excessive hunting/poaching and loss of its natural habitat.

Described as “intensely flavored lean meat” by Montana-based Giraffe-meat company Giraffine, the dinosaur-necked creature is sometimes thought of as Africa’s venison and has been known to taste like a more tender version of horse meat. A single giraffe can produce up to 660 pounds of meat, though it’s considered illegal in many African nations.


Sadly, there’s exactly not a grand chance things are going to suddenly turn around, as Dr. Noelle Kumpel of the Zoological Society of London points out, citing poverty and lower-class displacement.

“This is really about the issue of food security,” she says. “When people are hungry, they will eat whatever is available.”

Kumpel also points out that giraffes prominence in zoos has misled western culture, so a tremendous lack of conservation effort has been made.

“Giraffe face the same problems that other wildlife species do,” says Fennessy. “It’s just that they’ve been overlooked.”


‘Roadkill Law’ Makes Harvesting Roadkill for Dinner Legal in Montana


A law will go into effect this month that makes it legal to harvest roadkill in Montana. The state’s legislation stems from the waste of over 7,000 animals killed by vehicles last year. Before you get too grossed out, the law focuses more on larger game such as deer and moose. Because that makes it better.

The new law would give drivers 24 hours to harvest the meat of animals they accidentally kill with their vehicles. Citizens will be required to complete an application online with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency within 24 hours of the crash. Upon completion the driver will be able to print out a permit that gives them permission to claim the animal.

There are a few caveats to the law. The entire carcass must be taken, not just harvested on the side of the road for specific parts. The meat must also be eaten not used for bait. Opposers to the bill are concerned that this will encourage motorists to intentionally run down the animals in hopes of getting a free meal.

Another concern is whether or not it’s a health risk to consume roadkill.

Popularity is growing for the statute with many requesting an app to make it even more convenient for someone to harvest their accident in a more timely manner.

H/T HuffPo