Baringo Giraffe update

on Wednesday, 25 July 2012.

The 8 giraffe are now free in the Ruko onservancy

Baringo Giraffe update

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.

Many thanks to Northern Rangelands Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service, Tusk Trust, Ernie Burgess and the Njemps and Pokot tribes for helping to get them across safe and sound.

The giraffe have been released from their large holding pen and are now freely roaming the conservancy.

Below are the links for more photos, samatian blog and press releases.  We know that these giraffes will thrive in their new habitat and we are very optimistic that Ruko Community Conservancy will continue to thrive and promote peace and prosperity through looking after our wildlife.

The Baringo Giraffe translocation story attracted much press attention around the globe, here are some links to a few of the articles:

Samatian Island Lodge blog

Jose's Picassa Web Album

Chicago Tribune

LA Times

The Telegraph

The Seattle Times

 

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