Mom & baby giraffe rescued from a sinking island in Kenya

Heads of two giraffes in front of green trees

A highly endangered subspecies of giraffe called Rothschild's giraffes had been living on Longicharo Island in Kenya's Lake Baringo since 2011. But rising waters repeatedly flooded their habitat, and conservationists, concerned the giraffes could no longer find enough food on the island, decided to evacuate the animals. Rangers helped the giraffes get used to a barge called a "GiRaft" over time by parking it on land and encouraging the animals to investigate it by loading it with delicious treats like mangos, seed pods, food pellets and acacia leaves. Once the giraffes were familiar with the GiRaft, rescuers used it to transport them one at a time to higher ground in an enclosed sanctuary at the 44,000-acre Ruko Conservancy, located about one mile across the lake from the island.

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Photo: Getty images

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