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Honouring the life and legacy of Dr. Anne Innis Dagg

Dr Anne Innis Dagg feeding a giraffe

Dr. Anne Innis Dagg (1933-2024) was the first western scientist to study giraffes in the wild and a groundbreaking advocate for gender equity in science. 

Her scientific work was trailblazing and her book, Giraffe: Biology, Behaviour and Conservation (1976) is still used by scientists today. Dr. Dagg became a strong advocate for gender equity after facing significant barriers in her scientific pursuits, including being denied university tenure because they would “never give tenure to a married woman”. Dr. Dagg publicized the discrimination, launched human rights complaints, and advocated for equity to the government. Her efforts paved the way for shifts in gender equity that followed. You can learn more about Dr. Dagg’s life in an emotional documentary entitled The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, available on Amazon Prime, Apple, and Crave.

CAGIS was extremely fortunate to have worked with Dr. Dagg regularly over several years. Our network was honoured to have benefited from her wonderful mentorship and support. Our youth and adults were inspired by her story, words of wisdom, and advice. 

Memories and Condolences from the CAGIS Community

So saddened by the loss of this great pioneer but grateful for the trail she blazed for current and future female scientists! May her family and loved ones be comforted.  
– Pearl

I’m sorry to hear about Dr. Anne Innis Dagg’s passing. She was an incredible person who dedicated her life to making the world a better place. She was passionate about gender equality, and her love for animals, especially giraffes, was truly inspiring. Her work and passion have left a lasting impact on the science community and beyond. My heartfelt condolences to her loved ones and the entire CAGIS community. It’s remarkable how she served as an inspiration and mentor to countless individuals in their STEM pursuits. Her legacy will continue to inspire future generations. 
– Harini Vallikkannan

The first time I came across Dr Dagg was in a TV documentary about her. I was completely wowed by her extraordinariness in every way. I quickly shared her story with my daughter and many friends. From then on, I followed her, bought a video of her documentary movie and watched all I could about her. What a wonderful scholar and human being! My deepest condolences to her family.
– Anonymous

I have always loved giraffes, so I was very excited when I stumbled upon Anne’s Documentary: The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. I was inspired by Anne’s story and determination to study what she loved. However, I was also confused as to why I had never heard of her before. I wanted to learn more about Anne and giraffes, so I started researching. I read through the Anne Innis Dagg (AID) Foundation’s website and read multiple books about Anne and her work. I decided to sketch Anne a giraffe picture and write her a letter to tell her how she had impacted me. To my surprise, I received a response back, and I was invited to meet Anne and her daughter Mary at the Toronto Zoo! I had never been so excited. From there, the Junior Giraffe Club (JGC) started and I joined as their first member. My connection with Anne, Mary, and the JGC + AID Foundation quickly became a very valuable part of my life. 
– Rebecca Bordonali

Anne was an incredibly inspiring, kind, strong individual. Her positive energy and how she actively participated in work and topics that she was passionate about motivated me to pursue what I felt strongly about as well, and become actively involved in these passions. She made pursuing science seem less daunting, and more of an actual possibility.
– Rachel Bordonali

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