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Endangered giraffes saved in daring rescue mission2 min read

January 6, 2021 2 min read


Endangered giraffes saved in daring rescue mission2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This rescue operation in Kenya was unlike any other. Wildlife conservationists braved crocodile-infested waters to rescue some critically-endangered Nubian giraffes.

Several people were involved in the giraffe rescue mission

There are only 1,600 Nubian giraffes left in the wild, and they were sent to Longicharo Island in Lake Baringo in 2011 over fears they would be targeted by poachers. The giraffes were leading a happy and healthy life on this island until recently, when heavy flooding left them stranded.

Intense rainfall recently threatened both wildlife and local villages, forcing authorities to save these animals before it was too late.

Custom barge for the tall ones

The Kenya Wildlife Service, the Northern Rangelands Trust, and an organisation called Save Giraffes needed a boat to make sure the giraffes were ferried to safety. Locals got involved in the process, and built a special barge for the mission.  

This was no easy task, however, as Nubian giraffes can grow up to 20 feet-tall and weigh up to 1,133 kilograms!

David O’Connor from Save Giraffes inspects one of the animals before the journey. Photo: Save Giraffes Now

David O’Connor, president of Save Giraffes, said the custom barge is an ‘engineering marvel’. He was quoted as saying, “The rectangular steel structure was designed and built specifically to carry tall, heavy giraffe. The barge floats atop a series of empty drums, for buoyancy.”

A tough journey

A giraffe named Asiwa was the first to be escorted back to safety. The team spent months familiarizing the animals with the barge so that no mishaps would occur on the journey. “We sailed Asiwa over a mile of crocodile-ridden waters to the newly established Ruko giraffe sanctuary, and our team was there the whole way to ensure Asiwa was safe,” O’Connor added. 

The video below shows how the giraffes were rescued.

After Asiwa, her other long-legged friends will be rescued and taken to a safe, dry place soon.

Did you read Owliver’s story on another marvelous animal rescue mission? Read all about Kaavan the elephant’s heartwarming journey.

Sources: Good News Network, Interesting Engineering

Photos: Save Giraffes Now