Documentary celebrates giraffe advocate and conservationist

Dagg feeding a giraffe at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Dagg had been instrumental in conserving the species since 1956. ©Elaisa Vargas

Known as the “Jane Goodall of giraffes,” and often adorned in giraffe clothing and accessories, giraffe conservationist and Toronto native Anne Innis Dagg has been touring in North America, promoting a documentary on her life and work The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. Dagg, 86, hopes the documentary and its publicity helps bring about more conservation action for giraffes that are facing steep declines. She also hopes to gain recognition for her work, which she says has often been overlooked because she is a woman. Dagg, who has loved the animals since she was just 3 years old, began observing the giraffes in person in 1956 in Kruger National Park in South Africa. Overcoming sexism, Dagg studied the animals’ movements, feeding behavior, how they fought with each other and more. She also published much of her research, co-authored a book on giraffes and even became involved in feminist projects.

Read more about Dagg’s life and her career in The Lily.