Uganda Wildlife Authority moves giraffes to Kidepo

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, is in the process of translocating 15 giraffes from Murchison Falls National Park to Kidepo Valley National Park.

The translocation is primarily due to conservation efforts that aim to boost the giraffe population in Kidepo, according to UWA Communications Director, Bashir Hangi. This will be the second giraffe translocation to the park. Translocations are vital in enhancing the ecosystems with sparse populations, and depopulating high-density areas to ensure ecological balance and sustainable conservation. “It is a strategy that we are using to enrich our national parks with a variety of animals. Giraffes are some of our attractions to these parks,” added Hangi.

A team of around 20 people were dispatched in early August by UWA Executive Director, Sam Mwandha, to make preparations for the translocation. The first giraffes were released on 15th. The relocation process includes identifying which giraffes will be moved. The team will then dart the animals so that they are unconscious for 10 minutes during which rangers will check their heart rates before securing them with ropes and placing them in the recovery cart. Customised transport trucks will then move the animals to the new location – the trucks will be lined with cushions to protect the giraffes.

Hangi has said that all precautionary measures are being undertaken by experts to ensure the giraffe translocation is smooth and successful. “Our team has been on the ground, and we have all that we require. We have all the medicines we need, as well as the vets. They have done preliminary studies to see where they will take the giraffes and whether they can survive there."

Last year Uganda translocated 19 giraffes from the northern to the southern bank of Murchison Falls National Park. A further two giraffes were translocated from the northern bank of Murchison to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe.

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