Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hopes for the sanctuary

giraffe.JPGIt has been great pleasure in working and networking for the sanctaury and this year we hope to get support from different agencies opertaing in the area. The giraffes are currently enjoying peaciful environment as our scouts and warden intensified their patrols to minimise livestock disturbance within the sanctuary. I once again, like to thank all our supporters and donors for their continued support.

Minimal research work has been done in the sanctuary and we would like to appeal to researchers in the country to help us documents some flora and fauna of the sanctuary.

Ali sanctuary manager

Donkeys bare the Burden

dsc00793.JPGNorth Eastern province has one of the largest concentration of livestock in East Africa, majority of the people being pastoralist. Most of the people depend on livestock for their daily bread, in additions donkeys and camels are used as the most common means of transport within the pastoral landscape . However, donkeys are regarded low class animals and are not given the necesssary attention and care like the camels. Most times you find ferral donkeys within the settlements areas, with serious body conditions or injuries. The above picture is an example one donkeys that recently moved into the santuary following persecution by a farmer after raiding his farm. It is on this basis that we recommend to agencies to start donkey awareness campaigns and save this beast of burden .

Tomatoes floods Garissa

garissa-scouts-076.JPGgarissa-scouts-052.JPGFarmers in garissa town loose thousands of shillings every yeaar due to over production of tomatoes due to poor marketing strategies. The seasonal ripening of tomatoes allows wastage  as their are no factories to process this perishable  fruit. One of the farmers who I taked to Mrs Hayi Hassan in the photo above  expressed concern and requested the governmnet and other change agentts to assist in marketing and probaly build regional factory to process this  vital fruit. Tomatoes are grown along the fllodplains of Tana river which is the only source of permanent water in the river.

The Scouts of the Sanctuary

Name ID/No. photo Unit Mobile and Mpesa Account
Mohamud Garat Ali 21463484 Deputy head 0727025119
Mohamud  Abdi Dahir 23506313 Anti Poaching 0713750573
Ibrahim  Abdi Gure 13120661   Surveillance 0713401861
Roble Dirow yussuf 3518132 Anti poaching 0723139488
Hassan Gure Bulale 25008575 Surveillance 07248799211
Siyat Bundid Haji 22954683 Surveillance 0725950212
Abdullahi Adan Elmi 9085960 Anti poaching 0714776488
Affey Ibrahim Gabow 22900793   Anti poaching 0728749550
Dubow Subane ALI   Anti poaching 0710827291
Hassan Ahmed Afey 3518065 Warden 0713750513

How many species of giraffes exist?

garissa-scouts-080.JPG The world’s tallest animal species—the giraffe—may actually be several species, and some of them are highly threatened with extinction, according to new genetic studies supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The genetic evidence indicates that there may be at least six species of giraffe in Africa, whereas the existing taxonomy recognizes only one. The study appears in the latest edition of BMC Biology. “Some of these giraffe populations number only a few hundred individuals and need immediate protection,” said WCS Associate David Brown, the lead author of the study and a geneticist at UCLA. He is a founding member of the International Giraffe Working Group (IGWG). “Lumping all giraffes into one species obscures the reality that some kinds of giraffe are on the very brink.” “Giraffes are often overlooked in conservation initiatives, but they are as symbolic of African wilderness as any other species,” said Dr. James Deutsch, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Program. “Studies such as this one will help us inform conservation plans to save the most threatened giraffe populations.” Classifying current subspecies as fully fledged species will force a re-examination of conservation initiatives in order to deal with the needs of each separate species of giraffe. The most threatened potential species include: • The reticulated giraffe (currently Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata which is found in the giraffe sanctuary). Found in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, this population was estimated at some 27,000 individuals until the 1990s. Poaching and armed conflicts have decimated this group down to a mere 3,000 individuals. • The Nigerian giraffe (currently Giraffa camelopardalis peralta): Found in West and Central Africa, these giraffes number only 160 individuals. • The Rothschild giraffe (currently Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi): Formerly found in western Kenya and Uganda, the last few hundred Rothschild giraffes can only be found in a few protected areas in Kenya and in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. The study’s authors also emphasize that all giraffes are under threat, with an estimated 30 percent drop in population numbers over the past decade. The total number of giraffes across Africa is estimated to be under 100,000 individuals, and the numbers are currently under review as part of a continent-wide database project, according to WCS Associate Dr. Julian Fennessey of IUCN, and also a founding member of the IGWG. On the bright side, the discovery of large antelope herds in Southern Sudan—historically the very center of giraffe evolution—raises hopes that large numbers of giraffe may also exist there. Southern Sudan was off limits to conservationists for two decades due to warfare and instability in the region, until WCS scientists documented the species still there, including their count of 400 giraffes. The giraffe genetic study was conducted by an interdisciplinary team from the University of California, Los Angeles; Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo; and the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya. please let me know your reaction to this new knowledge.

Urgent appeal for Digital cameras

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Poster of the sanctaury, Courtesy of TEP, Terra Nuova and Steffani Gendera

Dear friends

we members of the giraffe sanctuary would like to appeal for digital cameras that we desparately need to report our efforts in this vast area. We have 14 scouts who are sharing only one  digital camera to report their daily activities. Reporting their work has therfore being a major problem since they can not provide evidence and even generate information for the blog. It is in this context that we are appealing for either a donation towards the purchase of cameras or even  DIRECT DONATIONS of camaeras. This will very much improve our work in this part of the country. Please help us save the giarffes.

Hope of registration soon

Dears friends

Lack of registration of the sanctuary as an indepent organisation was one of the problems we had and that slowed down our progress, but efforts are currently underway and we will be soon an indepent organisation. Their was initial internal conflict among the communities on who should run the affairs of the sanctuary but following my intervention in the recent past, the committe have a greed to work together to set up a running organisations. This is some of our meetings that resulted in nominating directors form the three different adjacent communities.

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Four directors in the above picture were nominated through a particiaptory process and we have finally handed our sighned papers to the lawyer for registeration. We thanks once again all those who have supported us to this far.

Facts about the reticulated Giraffes.

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The Somali Giraffe (photo courtesy of federicco vernossei)  or Reticulated Giraffe , Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata , is a subspecies of giraffe native to Somalia and Northeastern kenya. Reticulated giraffe can interbreed with other giraffe subspecies in captivity or if populations are low in the wild.

The reticualted giraffe is the most well-known of the nine giraffe subspecies, and has large, polygonal liver-colored spots outlined by a network of bright white lines. The blocks may sometimes appear deep red and may also cover the legs. The giraffe s are  native north-eastern Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

The extraordinary height of giraffe s allows them to browse on branches of trees that other hoofed animals can’t reach. This has helped make them one of the most successful animals of the African savannah. Giraffe s are also fast, able to gallop up to 56 km/h (35 mph). Mothers aggressively defend their calves, kicking out with their feet at the approach of lion s or hyena s.

The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. Males reach a towering 19 feet tall and weigh between 2400 and 4250 pounds. Females measure up to 17 feet tall and weigh between 1540 and 2600 pounds. A lot of this height and weight is because of the giraffe??? incredibly long neck, which can be 8 feet in length and can weigh almost 500 pounds. Even though the giraffe??? neck is taller than most humans are, it is still made of only 7 bones. This is the same number of bones that are in the human neck. On the top of their heads, giraffes have horns made of solid bone and covered with skin. These are used for sparring between males. The giraffe is also known for its spots. In fact, the Romans called the giraffe “camelopardalis,” meaning “camel marked like a leopard.” These spots are unique to each giraffe, much like fingerprints are unique to each human. In fact, people who study many giraffes can distinguish between the different giraffes just by looking at their spots. Another unique feature of the giraffe is its unusually long tongue. This pink and black tongue can be 22 inches long and is used to grab food from the trees.

The giraffe feeds mainly on Acacia and Combretum trees, but will eat as many as 100 different plants depending on which are available at the time. Since giraffes have such long necks, they can reach a 6-foot band of foliage that is above the reach of all other animals except the elephant. The giraffe will use its upper lip and long tongue to strip the leaves, shoots, flowers and vines from the trees. It needs 75 pounds per day of vegetation. However, it only drinks water every 2 to 3 days when it is available and can go for weeks without drinking any. The giraffe gets a large amount of water from the dew on the leaves and from the water in the leaves. When it encounters a watering hole, it will drink up to 12 gallons of water at one time. Giraffes have four stomachs just like cows.

Giraffes are native to only Africa. They used to be found throughout the dry savanna zones south of the Sahara Desert, but today have been eliminated from most of West African and southern Kalahari range. However, they are still fairly common.

Adult giraffes are too big to fall prey to the predators of Africa. However, the young giraffes are hunted by lions, hyena, leopards, and African wild dogs. A mother will stand over her calf to protect against the lions, which run the risk of getting killed by a kick from the mother’s powerful legs. Even with this protection, 50 to 75 percent of all calves are killed during the first few months. For the survivors, the life expectancy is 20 to 25 years.

The giraffe herd is not as rigidly structured as that of other animals. At any given time, the herd may consist of all males, all females, a mix of females and young, or a mix of all. Unlike most herds, the giraffe herd of 20 animals has no leader. Because of their large size, it is not necessary for the giraffes to stay in a tight group. In addition, they are tall enough to be able to see each other at long distances. The result is a herd that may be spread out over half a mile. Males spar in daily contests to determine mating rights, using their horns and strong necks to deliver heavy blows to each other. By the time that a female is ready to mate, the dominant male has already beaten all the other males in these contests. Once rank has been determined, the giraffes usually live peacefully alongside each other.

Giraffes breed throughout the year, but most often after the rainy season. After a gestation period of about 14 to 15 months, a 6-foot tall baby giraffe, called a calf, is born. For the first 2 weeks, the mother guards her young, who spends most of the time lying down. If there are a lot of calves in the herd, one female may take care of all of them until they get older.

Giraffes have very keen eyesight, allowing them to keep other members of the herd in sight. They also have good hearing and sense of smell. Giraffes have scent glands that give off a pungent odor. Many believe that the giraffe is mute, but this is only a myth. Though they are normally silent, they can grunt, snort, growl, sneeze, snore, moo, bleat, and cough

Garissa Town

field-pic-006.JPGDear our readers.

I was requested by one our readers to have an idea of what Garissa might look like.  Here it is, located almost 380 kilometers north east of Nairobi  with an estimated popualtion of 200,000 people in the main town. it is fast developing area with multiculatural society, but  mainly inhabited by pastoral Somalis. The mean daily temperature rangers from 29-35 degeress centigardes and it is actually quite hot  and dusty for visitors. The sanctuary is located only 3 kilometers from the main town and one can easily visit while in Garissa. Accomodation is relatively good as one can stay in Nomad resort, Hidig hotel or almond resort all within the town. Y ou are all welcome.

Thank you AFEW Giraffe Center

Today Paula collected my check for Ksh 60,000 (about $1,000) which was given to me by the AFEW (African Fund for Endangered Wildlife) Giraffe Center in Langata, Nairobi. The funds are to help pay the costs of our community scouts as well as some legal costs.

This post is to thank AFEW for believing in the Garissa Giraffe Sanctuary.

Here are some of the tenants of the Giraffe Center

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The newest baby – only one year old already 10 feet tall!

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Daisy 2 – at a strange angle

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She is massive, 17 years old, her head is always in the sky!

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This is one of the few places in Kenya where you can meet the animals close up. Based right on the edge of Nairobi the giraffe are free to come and go as they please! They attract hundreds of thousands of people each year, especially children – school kids go free and have the use of a wonderful education center.

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Kenyans love giraffes which are the subject of wooden and metal art works