Baringo Giraffe Translocation

on Wednesday, 25 July 2012.

Giraffe translocated to Ruko Conservancy

Baringo Giraffe Translocation

Samatian Island Lodge, a part of The Safari and Conservation Company, The Kenya Wildlife Service and The Northern Rangelands Trust today announce a first for conservation in Kenya as eight Baringo Giraffe, a sub-species that have not existed in their native area of Lake Baringo for over 70 years, were  finally brought home.

Through the combined efforts of the NRT, Samatian Island Lodge and local Pokot and Njemps communities, these endangered Rothschild giraffe, originally named Baringo giraffe, were trans-located to Ruko Game Conservancy by barge, making this the first ever attempt to carry giraffe across water in Kenya.

The project, supported and executed by The Northern Rangelands Trust and Samatian Island Lodge (a luxury camp situated on a private island in Lake Baringo), took four years to plan as, according to NRT director Ian Craig, giraffe are some of the most difficult animals to move.

Prior to the translocation, the giraffe were captured and spent weeks in a holding pen at Soysambu Conservancy in the Great Rift Valley in order that they would be calm enough to make the journey across the water. They left a frosty Soysambu at midnight and arrived on the lakes shore as the sun was rising over the Lakipia escarpment. The eight giraffe were loaded onto a boat, a restored landing craft, in two groups and were ferried across the lake, a journey of an hour and a half, to their new home. They have been released into a holding pen for one week to allow them to adjust to their new environment.

Photos courtesy of José Kalpers (Northern Rangelands Trust)

 

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  • Baringo Giraffe update

    Baringo Giraffe update

    Author Nic

    Good news, after 4 years of planning 8 Baringo giraffe (also known as Rothchild's Giraffe) returned home after nearly 70 years since they were last seen in Baringo.

    The translocation was an exciting one, as the giraffe had to travel for six hours by lorry. Then the lorry had to reverse into the lake and the giraffe were transferred to a boat (landing craft) to make an hour and a half crossing to Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy.

    This is the first time that giraffes have been transported across water in Kenya.

     

  • Baringo Giraffe Translocation

    Baringo Giraffe Translocation

    Author Nic

    Samatian Island Lodge, a part of The Safari and Conservation Company, The Kenya Wildlife Service and The Northern Rangelands Trust today announce a first for conservation in Kenya as eight Baringo Giraffe, a sub-species that have not existed in their native area of Lake Baringo for over 70 years, were  finally brought home.

    Through the combined efforts of the NRT, Samatian Island Lodge and local Pokot and Njemps communities, these endangered Rothschild giraffe, originally named Baringo giraffe, were trans-located to Ruko Game Conservancy by barge, making this the first ever attempt to carry giraffe across water in Kenya.

     

I dipped my hand in the tea coloured spray of Lake Baringo, while absent-mindedly scanning the distant hills.  I wasn’t really concerned about crocodile – the speed boat was cruising at a steady 15 knots and although capable of surprising bursts of speed in water – up to 35km/per/hour– I knew even the swiftest crocodile wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, when the boat idled momentarily as we neared Longichoro Island on the eastern shores of Lake Baringo, I hastily withdrew my hand.  A huge croc basked statue-still, molded to a warm boulder the same mottled shade of colour as itself.  While another slipped into the reed beds close by; the ossified scutes of its dinosaur like tail marking a sinuous trail through the water
However, other than crocodile and hippo, I hadn’t seen any wildlife to speak of.  I look forward to returning to Lake Baringo in the not too distant future hopefully to see a ‘tower’ of Rothschild giraffe as well as other antelope roaming safely, protected by the scouts recently recruited by the RCWT.
On our way over to visit Longichoro Island, a wire-tailed swallow dipped its wing in the lapis water rippling the surface like a fishnet stocking.  (This is the core conservation area made up of Njemps and Pokot land).  I had never seen the lake so blue.  Damsel flies with transparent wings outlined in green and black danced over the water, a sign that the lake is healthy. Due to exceptionally heavy rains in the Lake Baringo catchment area, the lake has risen more than a meter in the last twelve months; it hasn’t been this high since 1963.  Not only does the lake look healthier, heavy rainfall has diluted the build up of sedimentation, and the vegetation around the lake is rejuvenating. Does this also mean that the wildlife will benefit and numbers increase?  STORM STANLEY 08