Drowning baby giraffe saved from crocodile-infested river by villagers
Things did not look good for a wild baby giraffe in Kenya after it got stranded in the Uaso Nyiro river.
The animal was stuck in the middle of the river for roughly four hours according to Baba Sue, who posted photos of the rescue to Samburu Aboriginal Heritage museum forum’s Facebook page.
A group of courageous rescuers took a risk of being attacked by crocodiles and waded into the fast-flowing river to rescue the giraffe. There were dead branches trapping the giraffe’s long legs, so men came out with machetes to cut away the woody binds.
Their brave deed has won praise. “Wow! What a show of courage and passion for wildlife – our precious heritage,” said one comment.
Giraffes are one of Africa’s most iconic animals, instantly recognizable to people of all ages and backgrounds from around the world. Many people don’t realize that there are actually nine different subspecies of giraffe, three of which are found in Kenya: the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata; also known as the Somali giraffe), Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), and the Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi; also known as the Kilimanjaro giraffe).
Reticulated giraffes are found predominantly in the northern portion of Kenya, but they are also quite common in zoos and wild animal parks; we ticked this subspecies off our list during our visit to the KWS headquarters in Nairobi. Rothschild’s giraffes are highly endangered because they frequently hybridize with other subspecies; only a few hundred “pure” individuals are thought to exist in the wild.
One of the few locations where they can be observed is Lake Nakuru National Park, where small herds of them can often be found foraging together. By far the most common during our travels was the Masai giraffe, which can be seen in parks, on reserves, along roadsides, and on pastureland.
Giraffes are also known for having horns–or, more accurately, ossicones, which are horn-like growths of ossified cartilage (not bone tissue) that are permanently covered in skin and fur (rather than a velvet that can be rubbed off). Some people will tell you that giraffes are the only animals that are born with horns, but technically this isn’t true–and now you know enough to call their bluff!