Giraffe rescued from flooded island using makeshift raft in Kenya


An endangered giraffe was rescued from a flooded island using a DIY barge in Kenya.

Footage shows delighted wildlife conservationists taking the animal into its new home after it was saved from the submerged Longicharo Island on January 28.

Conservationists are working with Kenyan Wildlife Authorities to move nine giraffes that were stranded on the island after the surrounding lake overflowed due to relentless rain.

The team have relocated three giraffes so far – named Asiwa, Easter, and recently Lbarnoti – to a new sanctuary within the 44,000 acre Ruko Conservancy.

They ferried the wild animals using a DIY barge made of steel, wood, and plastic while the other team members boarded motorboats across the crocodile-infested lake that surrounds the island.

Asiwa was the first to be ferried to safety last week, taking about an hour-long ride on the custom-made steel barge. The second giraffe, Pasaka, was rescued the day later.

The two were followed by Lbarnoti, who had to leave his young calf Noelle and its mother Nkaroni behind because only one giraffe would fit on the barge.

Acacia seed pod treats were placed on the barge so the animals could snack on it busily while they were being ferried away.

Wildlife conservationist and president of the non-government organisation Save Giraffes Now David O’Connor said the size of the giraffes made the rescue difficult.

He said: ‘It’s not so easy to move these gentle giants. They don’t know that you’re trying to help them.

‘They think you’re a predator. So they’re trying to work against you, which makes it even harder.’

Six giraffes remain on the flooded island but the team had planned to take all of them one at a time using the barge.