And just like that … July is almost over and we have been so busy in the field and the office that we almost forgot that our bi-monthly update was due. There is so much to share that we hardly know where to start.
World Giraffe Day 2023 has come and gone and again put a spotlight on giraffe and their plight in Africa. Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us. With your continued support this initially rather insignificant idea of creating a special day for giraffe has grown to a powerful global movement. #StandTallForGiraffe
While raising awareness is very important, we strongly believe that ultimately giraffe can only be saved in Africa – by the people who share their living space with them. So, in addition to celebrating we have also been busy with lots of projects and programmes in the field, such as translocations, GPS satellite tagging and our second annual African Wildlife Veterinary Course. Have a look below to read more about some of our recent conservation actions.
Last but definitely not least, we just released our GCF 2022/23 Annual Report. This year, we chose a totally different reporting approach and asked our team about their personal highlights of the year. So, have a look and hear from the team that is a voice for giraffe!
What is new?
Angolan Giraffe Return to Iona National Park in Angola
We are excited to announce that in collaboration with African Parks and the Angolan government we have successfully reintroduced Angolan giraffe to their historical range in Iona National Park in Angola in early July. Fourteen Angolan giraffe travelled over 1,300km in a journey that took over 36 hours from central Namibia to their new home. This important conservation translocation was made possible with your support through funds raised during World Giraffe Day! Read more here.
This accomplishment represents a significant milestone in our ongoing and collaborative efforts to safeguard giraffe in Africa and has received lots of international attention and media coverage. Read about this ‘message of hope’ in The Guardian online.
Empowering African Wildlife Veterinarians through Hands-on Training
In June we successfully hosted our second hands-on training course for African wildlife veterinarians. The programme brought together eight wildlife veterinary specialists as tutors, who shared their knowledge with eight talented young vets from seven African countries: Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. The objective of this nine-day training course in Namibia was to enhance the capability of young African vets and empower them to become leaders in conservation in their own countries. For a second time we have worked towards our mission to cultivate a new generation of African wildlife veterinarians who will drive conservation efforts and protect the rich biodiversity of the continent.
As part of the vet training course, we also provided an exciting opportunity for all participants to gain hands-on experience in a giraffe translocation. Collaborating with Namibian partners, we successfully moved four Angolan giraffe from the Etosha Heights Private Game Reserve to the Ongongo and Otjiu-West Conservancies in NW Namibia. This exercise not only equipped the vets with valuable skills to contribute to wildlife conservation in their countries, but also helped to extend the giraffe range in Namibia. The giraffe are now closely monitored by local community rangers in their new home ensuring their well-being.
GCF 2022/22 Annual Report now online
Compiling the GCF Annual Report is always a daunting task. There is always so much to report. It is always a question of where to start and, importantly, who has the insight, time and talent to succinctly write about it all?
For our 2022/23 Annual Report we chose a different approach: we asked every GCF team member about their personal highlights for the year. So this is your opportunity to hear directly from the team that is a voice for giraffe.
Twiga Tracker in South Sudan
GCF recently partnered with African Parks in South Sudan to provide veterinary and financial support while fitting GPS satellite tags to 11 critically endangered Nubian giraffe in Boma and Bandingilo National Parks. This was part of a large collaring initiative of many different wildlife species in the country. Stay tuned for more information soon.
Record Numbers for KEEP
A big shout-out to our amazing KEEP team in Namibia who has already hosted over 2000 children for a fun-filled educational day in the field this year! In addition to school groups, we also hosted groups from after-school facilities and soup kitchens who look after the least privileged! What a pleasure to see these kids have so much fun.