Eight giraffes that are an endangered species are staring at death at a tourist attraction centre in Rift Valley due to rising water levels in Lake Baringo.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials raised alarm over the future of the Rothschild giraffes as Lake Baringo waters rise by over 100 metres per day owing to heavy rainfall experienced in the region.
Continous postponement of the relocation of giraffes is putting the animals at risk of drowning.
The giraffes also have unique patterns which make them vulnerable to poaching hence facing extinction.
One of the giraffes was already marooned, forcing KWS staff to wade through the lake to supply it with food.
“The water is rising at a deadly speed. We are very worried about the rains as we do not know if it will rain for a year,” a KWS official stated.
The plight of the endangered species came at a day when Parliament was convening to discuss the death of 11 rhinos at Tsavo East National Park in July 2018.
MPs, on Tuesday, September 15, sought answers to how the animals perished, with the Ministry of Tourism under CS Najib Balala attributing their deaths to multiple stress syndrome, which was intensified by salt poisoning, dehydration, starvation and gastric issues.
Balala disclosed the results of an independent inquiry which highlighted negligence and poor communication.
“The independent inquiry further showed there were areas of clear negligence that occurred post-translocation at the release site in Tsavo, especially in the holding BOMA at the sanctuary.
“These included poor coordination and communication among officers that were responsible for pre-translocation studies, including biomass assessments; environmental impact assessments and water quality assessments. The results of the water assessments were hardly considered before execution of the operation,” Balala noted.
The CS suspended several KWS staff including acting Director-General Julius Kimani, the Head of Veterinary and Capture Services Dr Francis Gakuya, the vet in charge of the translocation exercise Isaac Lekolool and the Senior Warden at Tsavo East Felix Mwangangi.