Fourteen giraffes arrived in Angola from Namibia this week. It forms part of a nature conservation organization’s attempt to re-establish the species in the country after it became extinct here during the decades-long civil war.
The animals were transported from Namibia to the Iona wildlife park, one of Angola’s largest parks. Iona is located close to the border of the two countries.
African Parks said it was the first of “several giraffe relocations” as part of a “conservation effort to restore and enrich the park’s biodiversity”.
The non-governmental organization is headed by Prince Harry of Britain and manages 22 parks in Africa covering 20 million hectares in 12 countries.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUBN), by the late 1990s it was generally accepted that giraffes were extinct in Angola.
A report in 2022 from the scientific journal, Namibian Journal of Environmentexplained the species, the Angolan giraffe, “became locally extinct before the 1980s due to indiscriminate poaching during the Angolan civil war”.
Stephanie Fennessy, executive director and co-founder of the Namibian Giraffe Conservation Foundation, praised the transfer in a joint statement with African Parks.
She said the resettlement of the animals “in their historical location, ensures their long-term survival and contributes to restoring the ecological balance in the region”.
Angola’s government described the move as a “remarkable milestone”.
The animals traveled 36 hours by road over 1,300 km from a private farm in central Namibia.