Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants. (Nature). 53 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627898744. POP
Gr 5 Up –Dr. Julian Fennessy has spent the last two decades studying giraffes. Astonishingly little is known about them, especially compared with other high-profile animals whose populations are also under threat, such as elephants and rhinos. Alarmed that giraffe populations have declined 40 percent in the past 20 years and are thus threatened with extinction, Fennessy developed a relocation project for 20 giraffes. If it is successful, more could be relocated to encourage an increase in herds and, hopefully, provide a way back from the brink of extinction. Visually stunning and at times amusing, moving, and inspiring, this documentary presents many facts about the animals (they are not mute, and they are active at night, for example) and the relocation endeavor. Viewers who think they know giraffes will be surprised. Footage of other African wildlife and scenery offer context, and infographics convey material succinctly. The new findings about giraffes and the scope of the conservation undertaking are impressive. VERDICT Fascinating and enlightening, this film will be of interest to nature enthusiasts, conservationists, environmental science classes, and general science classes.
This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2017 issue.