Last Two Giraffes Rescued From a Disappearing Island in Kenya

Smithsonian Magazine || On April 12, wildlife authorities and conservationists completed a tall task: ferrying the final two giraffes off of a sinking island in Lake Baringo, Kenya, George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo.

For many years, Rothschild’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) have lived on a peninsula in the lake. The lake’s water levels had been slowly rising over time, but in 2020, torrential rains caused severe flooding, covering a stretch of the giraffes’ peninsula and turning the end into a muddy, shrinking island. Nine giraffes became stranded with limited resources available for survival. Planning the complex rescue mission took 15 months to coordinate and implement.

Now, the last two individuals—a mother and a calf, named Ngarikoni and Noelle—stuck on a remote part of the land mass have been safely transported to the mainland.

When the giraffes reached the shore, they galloped out onto the 4,400-acre Ruko Wildlife Sanctuary, where conservation groups involved in the project hope to support a growing population of the endangered subspecies.

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