Global Positioning System tag placed on world's last known white giraffe

Ruben Fields
November 20, 2020

The only known white giraffe still alive was fitted with a Global Positioning System tracking device to help it stay safe from poachers while it grazes in Kenya, according to a blog post shared on the country's Northern Rangelands Trust website.

In a statement, the non-profit group said, "the tracking device would give hourly updates on the giraffe's whereabouts, enabling rangers to keep the unique animal safe from poachers".

Recently, in the month of March poachers killed a female and her calf which made the white giraffe a stand alone.

"The giraffe's grazing range has been blessed with good rains in the recent past and the abundant vegetation bodes well for the future of the white male", said Ahmed Noor, manager of the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy. In one such move, the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in Kenya has attached a Global Positioning System tracking device to a white giraffe's horns in an attempt to quell poaching in the region.

This was accomplished with help from the Kenya Wildlife Service, in addition to the Northern Rangelands Trust and the Save Giraffes Now organization. "Now ranger teams, with help from community members, can track the bull's movements, and respond immediately if he's heading toward known poaching areas or other dangers".

"This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole".

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As of writing, 58 people from the community - including 24 scouts - have gained successful employment from the organization.

The conservancy is also home to the endangered reticulated giraffe and the critically endangered hirola antelope with an estimated wild population of 450 individuals. This bespectacled antelope is native to the arid woodlands and savannahs of the Kenya/Somali border, and now found only in isolated pockets of Kenya.

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The trust said the three white giraffes were "an enormous source of pride in the Ishaqbini community".

CNN quoted Antony Wandera, senior wildlife monitoring officer at the NRT, as saying that their mission is to make communities resilient and secure their livelihood.

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