Saving the world's last West African giraffes in Niger

The highly threatened subspecies has been brought back to a reserve in Niger after a 50-year absence.
A giraffe stands in Niger's Giraffe Zone before it is captured.Image copyrightGCF/Sean Viljoen

For almost 50 years, the highly threatened West African giraffe has been absent from Niger's Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve.

Illegal hunting, climate change and habitat loss have all contributed to the population's decline.

An ambitious conservation initiative has now re-introduced eight giraffes into the reserve, in the first conservation effort of its kind for the West African subspecies.

A giraffe is restrained before it is re-introduced to the Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve in Niger.Image copyrightGCF/Sean Viljoen

Under the initiative, spearheaded by the Nigerien authorities, the eight giraffes were captured in the country's Giraffe Zone, a government-defined region approximately 60km (37 miles) south-east of the capital, Niamey.

Until this move, the world's last West African giraffes had only been found in and near this Giraffe Zone.

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