Wildlife Wednesdays: Giraffes Saved From Flooded Island | weatherology°
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By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Feb 7th 2022

Wildlife Wednesdays: Giraffes Saved From Flooded Island

A rescue to save nine endangered Rothchild's giraffes has been an ongoing process for the past 15 months. It all started when rising water caused flooding around Kenya's Lake Baringo in early 2020. The flooding stranded a group of Rothschild's giraffes on the lake's Longicharo Island, cutting the animals off from the resources they needed to survive. Save Giraffes Now, the Ruko Community Conservancy, the Northern Rangelands Trust, and the Kenya Wildlife Service all came together to form a rescue plan to save these stranded giraffes. "The fruits of this collaboration resulted in the creation of a custom barge (named "The GiRaft") and a 4,400-acre sanctuary on the mainland for the animals," the article mentions. 

The rescuers used The GiRaft to float the animals, one at at time, from the flooded island to a sanctuary they created for them within the 44,000 acre Ruko Conservancy. "We felt a great sense of urgency to complete this rescue," David O'Connor, president of Save Giraffes Now, said in a statement. "With giraffes undergoing a silent extinction, everyone we can protect matters, making this rescue an important step in supporting the survival of this species." Starting last December in 2020, they started moving the giraffes to safety only when it was safe to do so. 

On April 12 of this year, the last giraffe was saved with all of them now safe, happy, and healthy! "Protecting this group is especially important with so few Rothschild's giraffes left in the world. Today, fewer than 3,000 of these giraffes are left in Africa, with only about 800 in Kenya, per Save Giraffes Now."