The Rothschild’s Giraffe are part of a recent genetic study by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, and are now considered the Nubian Giraffe G. c. camelopardalis a subspecies of the Northern Giraffe. Soysambu currently hosts a population of approximately 140 giraffe. As of  February 2021, we have identified 57 males, 56 females and 27 juveniles.

Press release from Soysambu Conservancy

The Sad Loss of 3 Giraffes

Tragically, Soysambu Conservancy has suffered the deaths of 3 giraffe killed by electrocution in two separate incidents but at the same location over last weekend. KWS and KP&L have been on site and rectified the problem with the line. Furthermore, they are inspecting the rest of the line and will continue their work over the coming week to improve any weak links they may identify. Although some work was done on this line to improve its safety in 2019 we will be working closely with both KWS and KP&L to eliminate such incidents in the future. Over the last 23 years Soysambu Conservancy has nurtured a herd of Rothschild’s giraffe with much success so that having started with 7 animals the herd now stands at 144. This tragic incident is a very disappointing setback for Soysambu Conservancy as the giraffe are a core element of our conservation efforts and we will continue to prioritise their conservation in the future.  

Nigel Hunter, Chairman

23 February 2021

The current estimate of Nubian giraffe is 2,160 individuals, ranging across eastern South Sudan, western Ethiopia, northern Uganda and west-central Kenya. Large herds have been reported in South Sudan, but this information is difficult to confirm and their numbers might be much lower due to ongoing insecurity in the region. In 2010 Rothschild’s giraffe were classified as Endangered and of high conservation importance on the IUCN Red List. Thereafter, classified as near threatened. Since they are now classified as Nubian Giraffe, a new assessment of the species will need to be done. There are approximately 650  Nubian Giraffe in Kenya.

One of our goals for our Giraffe Program is to assist in restocking areas of Kenya where the Rothschild’s are indigenous.

In 2011, eight Soysambu giraffe were successfully translocated to Ruko Conservancy on Lake Baringo. In 2016, a further eight giraffe were translocated to Rimoi National Reserve in the Kerio Valley. In 2020 two giraffe were translocated to Solai Sanctuary.

Preparing giraffe for translocation
Preparing giraffe for translocation

Identification of individuals is critical to understand individual behaviour and important in investigating aspects of species ecology, e.g. population structure and dynamics, density, distribution and seasonal movement, home range analysis and habitat preference.  Single species studies have adopted many different methods to aid in the quick and easy identification of individuals, including coat patterns, colour, tail length, scars, and horn variations.  The identification of individuals generally enables a closer relationship between study species and researcher, leading to higher data resolution and increased knowledge of species ecology.

Our Ecological Monitoring Team currently spend two days a week observing our herds of giraffe. They photograph each individual and note the group composition GPS location. This is entered on a raw data collection sheet and brought back to the office for compilation into a monitoring report.

For each giraffe an identification sheet is produced and updated over time.

Giraffe Identification

ID: Foo2 Sophie
Sex: Female
Age Class: A
Distinguishing Features: Limping, very long tail.
Right Features: Dark slanting bow tie shape on the neck plus one specific diamond at the base of the neck.
Left Features: Flower with seven petals on the back plus light erased spots on the neck.
Giraffe identification
Giraffe
Giraffe
Tower of Giraffe
Tower of Giraffe
Giraffe translocation
Giraffe translocation
Translocation of Giraffe
Translocation of Giraffe
Giraffe
Giraffe
Working group
Working group
Giraffe necking
Giraffe necking
Giraffe