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Celebrity Orphaned Giraffe Calves at Meru NP

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  Jan Friday, 26 December 2008 23:00

Celebrity Orphaned Giraffe Calves at Meru NP

CELEBRITY ORPHANED GIRAFFE ‘DUSE’CALVES at the MERU NATIONAL PARK FOUR YEARS’ AFTER RESCUE BY PILOT

 

Coastweek
December 2008

 


A celebrity reticulated giraffe named 'Duse', which was found abandoned by her mother when it was still calf, has given birth four years after its rescue in Meru National Park.

Kenya Wildlife Services report that the now famous tamed giraffe - which has since become a key attraction in Meru National Park - recently gave birth to a strong male calf.

Unfortunately, 'Duse' has been reluctant to get close to its calf, perhaps because of the way it was raised by rangers in Meru Park. She seems to have bonded so well with rangers and tourists that she has lost her maternal instincts.

'Duse' was found by a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) warden pilot while on aerial patrol in Duse area in the larger Isiolo District (Northen Kenya) in 2004.
 
He directed a ground team of rangers who rescued the calf and brought her to the park’s Kinna Headquarters where she stayed with two ostrich chicks.

'Duse' adapted well and prefers to stay next to members than other wild animal.

'Duse' is one of the major attractions in the park since it is commonly seen feeding at Kinna park headquarters.

Meru National Park in northern Kenya, 348 kilometres from Nairobi, lost its position as a premier destination for visitors seeking untamed wilderness when it was overrun by banditry and poaching.

However, that’s all part of history thanks to millions of dollars from international donors Agence Francaise de Development, AFD, and the Inter-national Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) that has seen the rebirth of the park.

Gazetted as a protected area in December 1966, Meru National Park straddles the equator at the foot of the Nyambene Hills.

It is inhabited by rare and unique animal species characteristic of semi-arid areas and is dominated by tall grass, lush swamps, thorny acacia, bush lands, and 14 permanent rivers.

The park has undergone a major facelift in new infrastructure developments including four airstrips, visitor accommodation facilities, roads, gates, staff housing and community projects.

The funds have supported the rebuilding of the park’s original ranger headquarters, repair of security vehicles, and fencing of neighbouring farms to prevent elephants from wandering onto them.

Last year, some 2,000 wild animals were relocated to the park from areas in Kenya with larger populations in Naivasha, Nakuru and Laikipia.

Relocation of wild animals was part of a government drive to revive and rebrand the park as “complete wilderness”.

This was also part of the plans to only just open up Kenya’s Northern frontier but also shift Meru National Park “from mass to exclusive high-end tourism.

Species such as the endangered Grevy’s zebra, common zebra, impala, hartebeest and Beisa oryx were moved in a spectacular exercise termed “the greatest African ungulate translocation.”

Earlier this year, the French Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Elisabeth Barbier formally handed over the park to the Kenyan government to mark the end of a historic process to restore the park’s biodiversity that started in 2000.

Mid last year, investors in the tourism industry were invited to purchase sites in four development locations in parks and reserves in the Meru Conservation Area, which includes the Meru and Kora national parks and the Bisanadi and Mwingi national reserves, having a total of 5,000 square kilometres.
 
Some of the conservation’s key tourist attractions include game viewing, wilderness habitats, the grave of Elsa the lioness and the home of Joy and George Adamson, a rhino sanctuary, Adamson’s Falls, and boating opportunities on River Tana.

Article at:  http://www.coastweek.com/3152-03.htm

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