Glenmorangie forges a global conservation partnership to help save the giraffe
— Whisky recognises the serious threat its symbol faces in the wild —
12 March 2020 Glenmorangie has long celebrated the giraffe as a symbol of its distillery. With its extraordinary height, the animal perfectly illustrates the stature of the single malt whisky’s towering stills. Today, the Highland Distillery demonstrates its commitment to this endangered animal by forging a global conservation partnership to help safeguard its future.
Glenmorangie’s affinity with the giraffe begins with its towering copper stills in which it creates its lighter spirit, with more space for taste and aroma. The tallest in Scotland, these stills have necks the same height as an adult male giraffe. But although the giraffe’s silhouette is known and loved at Glenmorangie, as it is across the world, few are aware of the threat it faces in the wild. Numbers have fallen by 30% in 30 years, with some types of giraffe now critically endangered. With the giraffe’s decline going largely unnoticed, a BBC/PBS documentary on the work of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and its partners, narrated by Sir David Attenborough has warned of a “silent extinction”.
In a concerted effort to aid the giraffe, Glenmorangie is pioneering a three-year partnership with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). This two-pronged approach will support efforts to protect giraffes in the wild in Africa and provide a habitat for the animal at Edinburgh Zoo, which will play a vital role in their conservation.
Under the partnership Glenmorangie will:
Thomas Moradpour, President and Chief Executive of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “For 175 years we have created whisky, in stills as high as an adult giraffe, the tallest in Scotland. Over time, this majestic animal has become a beloved symbol our brand. It seems only right that we should channel our passion for this animal into our new global conservation partnership with GCF and RZSS. Together, we will work to protect giraffes in the wild and shine a light on their predicament before it’s too late.”
Glenmorangie’s whisky makers use endless imagination and five key ingredients – wood, water, barley, yeast, and time – to dream up delicious single malt whiskies. Known as the Distillers of Tain, they’ve been honing their craft for more than 175 years. In Scotland’s tallest stills, whose necks are as high as a giraffe, they produce a light and fruity spirit, ripe for experimentation. Led by Director of Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden, this crackerjack crew are on a mission to bring new flavours and possibilities to the world of single malt.
About the partnership:
Launched in January 2020, Glenmorangie’s partnership with RZSS and GCF will run until the end of 2022. By supporting the work of its partners, Glenmorangie will focus on the threatened Nubian (formerly known as Rothschild’s) giraffe. Once widespread across East Africa, just 3,000 of these giraffes survive in the wild, with more than 50% of these in Uganda. The largest population lives in the country’s Murchison Falls National Park. Glenmorangie’s support is twofold. It will:
- Support the work of GCF in the following areas with investment for expert staff, vets and equipment, so they can:
- Protect giraffes from habitat loss and poaching (illegal hunting);
- Reintroduce giraffes back into their natural range in Uganda, focusing on areas where the Nubian giraffe has become locally extinct;
- Tag giraffes with GPS satellite tracking devices so that their populations can be effectively monitored, and their movements better understood;
- Train and build capacity of African conservationists in giraffe conservation and management.
- Support the conservation work of RZSS so that it can:
- Open a specially-designed giraffe habitat at Edinburgh Zoo in the summer of 2020;
- Aid GCF’s conservation work with genetic research into new giraffe populations. Genetic research is vital for reintroduction programmes, helping to avoid in-breeding, and Edinburgh Zoo has one of the world’s only zoo-based genetics laboratories.
About Glenmorangie’s stills:
Glenmorangie distils its Highland single malt whisky in its copper stills, the tallest in Scotland, which are around the same height as an adult male giraffe. These stills take Glenmorangie’s whisky on a longer excursion, resulting in a lighter spirit with more ‘space’ for taste and aroma. Glenmorangie’s giraffe symbol can be seen in many places around the Highland Distillery – eagle-eyed visitors may even spot it in a stained glass window in the majestic still house.
About the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is a wildlife conservation charity (SC004064) and owns Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. Founded in 1909, the Society’s purpose is to connect people with nature and safeguard species from extinction. For further information about RZSS conservation projects in Scotland and around the world, please visit rzss.org.uk
RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS Highland Wildlife Park are members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). BIAZA represents its member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.
About the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF)
GCF is the leading international charity dedicated to giraffe conservation and management in the wild.
It works with governments, universities, local communities, national and international conservation organisations and many other bodies, to develop and implement conservation strategies to save giraffes in Africa. The charity, based in Namibia, was founded in 2009 by Julian and Stephanie Fennessy, a husband and wife team. As co-director and co-founder, Julian co-ordinates the foundation’s giraffe conservation efforts. Julian is a leading expert in the field of giraffe conservation. He has 20 years’ experience in species and habitat ecology, conservation and land management across Africa, with a particular focus on the giraffe. In fact, his experience is so unique, that he co-chairs the Giraffe Okapi Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission. He holds a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Sydney, Australia, and is also a conservation advisor on giraffes for the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. For more information visit www.giraffeconservation.org