RIFT VALLEY, KENYA: This is a wonderful photograph by Ami Vitale working for Save Giraffes Now. It shows a giraffe from the critically endangered Rothschild’s subspecies on a raft with rangers and conservationists on Lake Baringo, western Kenya, as it is being transported from the danger of flooding on Longicharo Island to the nearby Ruko Community Conservancy under a joint venture by Kenya Wildlife Service and the American charity Save Giraffes Now.
The giraffe had been cut from the rest of her tower. A “tower of giraffes” is a large group typically of 10 to 20 members. There has been torrential rains in the Rift Valley causing the lake to rise by 6 inches a day. There was a danger to the giraffes. They had been taken to the remote island 10 years ago as part of efforts to protect them from poachers but unfortunately there has been increased rainfall since which has caused much of the island to be submerged in water.
The Rothschild’s giraffe once roamed the entire Western Rift Valley in Kenya and Uganda in their hundreds of thousands. Today fewer than 3,000 are left in Africa and there are only 800 and Kenya. Their coat is made up of dark orange and brown patches with areas of beige.
Comment: Is the increased rainfall due to climate change? Longicharo Island is called Ol Kokwe Island on Google Maps.