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Endangered giraffe is rescued from a flooding island off Kenya by conservationists

The recent mission brought an endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, named Lbarnoti, to the mainland by loading him into a massive barge made of steel and empty drums and then transported him a mile down the river to the Roku Conservancy.

As the crew opened the front door of the barge, Lbarnoti quickly took off to find the other two giraffes, Asia and Pasaka, which were rescued in December – all three have now been reunited.

The remarkable rescue was organized by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) who joined forces with the US-based non-profit Save Giraffes Now and an African non-government organization.

Conservationists with KWS, Save Giraffes Now, and Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) collaborated with local community members to undertake the monumental task of moving the massive animal to Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy, a protected wildlife reserve.

David O’Connor, president of Save Giraffes Now, said: ‘ ‘It’s heartening to have three safely moved, but we won’t rest until the other six are safe at Ruko Conservancy, as we.’ ‘Giraffe is undergoing a silent extinction, and each one matters greatly to the survival of these animals.’

The area has been plagued with intense rain, which increased the water levels of Lake Baringo that is surrounded by the peninsula. But due to the rising river, the piece of land that connects the island to the mainland is completely submerged.

Lbarnoti walked voluntarily onto the custom-made steel barge and sat calmly within the confines of the barge, snaking on acacia seed pod treats.

However, Lbarnoti had to leave behind his young calf, Noelle, which was just born in December to mother Nkarikoni – but the team is set to return for the young giraffe. ‘We must finish these rescues as quickly as possible,’ said Susan Myers, Save Giraffes Now founder and CEO. ‘We’re thankful Noelle is healthy, but we must keep her safe until she is big enough and we can move her to safety.’

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