How do you save a herd of giraffes that are trapped on a rapidly sinking island? Float them to the mainland on a custom-built barge — a “GiRaft.” That’s how a months-long giraffe rescue operation in Kenya recently concluded on April 12, delivering the last of nine stranded giraffes to safety, according to a statement by Save Giraffes Now (SGN), an American nonprofit organization that partnered with conservationists in Kenya to relocate the giraffes. The threatened giraffes, a highly endangered subspecies called Rothschild’s giraffes ( Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi ), had been living on Longicharo Island in Kenya’s Lake Baringo since 2011. But rising waters repeatedly flooded their habitat, and conservationists, concerned that the giraffes could no longer find enough food on the island, decided to evacuate the animals. “Water levels in Lake Baringo have been rising for some time, but in 2020 the rate of rise increased,” flooding coastal homes and businesses and threatening the survival of the giraffes, representatives of Kenya’s Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) posted on Facebook on Dec. 2, 2020, when the giraffe evacuation began. To carry the gangly giraffes from their disappearing home to a new sanctuary on the mainland, SGN worked with NRT and […]

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