Thursday, December 25, 2008

Giraffe translocation

A giraffe capture is one of the most impressive things I have seen in my life. The skills and courage of the guys pulling the ropes is amazing! A giraffe can easily kill a human with its legs, so it's important to stay away from them... In South Africa specialised 'giraffe capture teams' travel around the country to capture giraffes for all sorts of reasons. This young male giraffe was going to move to another reserve for breeding purposes. First the giraffe was immobilisated by dartgun. When he was 'down', immediately a 'hat' was put over the head and ropes were attached to the body. Because giraffes are complicated animals to have under anaesthetics, the full antagonist was given into the vene, straight after this, to wake the animal up as soon as possible. The wild and fully awake (!) giraffe got up within a minute after the injection and then the skills of the ground team is extremely important: by pulling slowly on each rope (left, right, forwards, backwards) at the right time, the 'blind' giraffe will slowly walk into the truck...if everything goes well....
Incredible how relaxed giraffes are in the truck. This one just fell asleep!

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