30 Giraffes Translocated to Conservancies and National Park

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) has translocated 30 giraffes to two communal conservancies and a national park. The translocation, which took place in June is part of the Ministry’s quest to boost existing populations and increase genetic diversity.

The Ministry captured and translocated thirteen giraffes to Mangetti National Park in Kavango West, three to Okongo Conservancy in Ohangwena and fourteen giraffes to Doro !Nawas Conservancy in the Kunene Region, with the assistance from Du Preez Wild and funding by GCF, Wildlife Conservation Alliance and Ultimate Safaris, a Namibian tourism operator working closely with the Doro !Nawas conservancy.

According to the ministry’s spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, the translocation was in response to the request by the Conservancy Committees to boost their existing small giraffe populations with additional animals to improve genetic diversity of giraffe in the area, and also to increase the local tourism potential which would greatly benefit the conservancy and all its members.

“This is another clear demonstration of our determination to implement our constitutional mandate, which in translation provides for the protection of the country's national resources for the benefit of our citizens both in the present and in the future. We believe that the giraffes donated, will go a long way in providing income and employment opportunities for rural Namibians and alleviating poverty,” said Muyunda. “The Ministry will continue to seek for intervention that do not only promote conservation of our natural resources but also cater for the social and economic developmental of our people,” he emphasised.

The Doro !Nawas Conservancy recently established a joint venture partnership with Ultimate Safaris in developing a low impact tourism venture with maximum yield to the conservancy. With ongoing support from Ultimate Safaris and GCF, the conservancy is committed to monitoring all wildlife including this new giraffe population in the area. “All partners are committed to providing training to local guides and community members to ensure effective monitoring of these giraffes,” said Muyunda.

The exciting and unique experience of the first releases were witnessed by the translocation team and local MEFT staff. It was an emotional sight for everyone to see these gentle giants run free into their new homes. In Doro !Nawas Conservancy, the Chairman Gerson Namiseb brought along his wife and commented afterwards: "It is great to see more giraffe come to our area. I will make sure that our game guards take good care of these animals and keep a lookout for them."

Stephanie Fennessy, Director of GCF said that “it is great to be involved in such amazing collaborative work and to share some good news during difficult times like the Covid-19 pandemic.” “Giraffe conservation is a conservation success story in Namibia, and we are proud to play a small role in it," he continued.

The Ministry is looking forward to repeating this success and hope to bring more giraffe to other communal conservancies in Namibia in the coming years. The operation also helped build capacity across all stakeholders and puts them into good stance for future giraffe conservation work in Namibia.

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