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Why this zoo is trying to talk Toys R Us mascot ‘Geoffrey the Giraffe’ out of retirement.

There are less than 100,000 giraffes left in the world, and they need our help.

Why this zoo is trying to talk Toys R Us mascot ‘Geoffrey the Giraffe’ out of retirement.

One Texas zoo is making the biggest play for a long-time superstar since the Lakers signed LeBron James.

Now that all remaining Toys R Us stores in the U.S. have officially closed, the San Antonio Zoo is offering the company a cheeky way to let its nostalgia-fueled brand live on.

Geoffrey the Giraffe has been the face of Toys R Us for more than half a century, but no longer. Rather than let him fade into obscurity — like the Frito Bandito or the Noid — the San Antonio Zoo offered Geoffrey the chance to become its mascot for the zoo's giraffe conservation efforts. They even put together a YouTube video making their case.


While Toys R Us is unlikely to donate the mascot to the zoo, the campaign is an adorable way to raise awareness about the real troubles facing giraffes today.

According to estimates by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are fewer than 100,000 giraffes left in the world. This marks an alarming 40% drop in the past 30 years, stemming largely from human activity. If we don't take action, at least some giraffe species will be lost to extinction.

Every June 21, GCF organizes World Giraffe Day. This year's event centered around Operation Twiga III, an effort to relocate Nubian giraffes in Uganda for conservation purposes. While giraffes don't serve a function crucial to humans' survival (the way bees and butterflies are needed for pollination), their plight is just another example of humanity's destruction of nature's beauty. Do we really want a world without giraffes?

World Giraffe Day 2018

Happy #WorldGiraffeDay!Let's all stand tall for our long-necked friends today! #WGD #GiraffeConservation

Posted by Giraffe Conservation Foundation on Thursday, June 21, 2018

You can help by donating to the San Antonio Zoo's GoFundMe page or making a contribution directly to the GCF.

The zoo hopes to raise $100,000 for the GCF to aid their goals of "supporting a sustainable future where all giraffe populations and sub-species are protected and secured in the wild."

While there's no news on whether Toys R Us will allow its recently-unemployed cartoon mascot to join in the campaign, you can't really blame the zoo for shooting its shot.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."