Giraffe translocation – coming full circle

Due to the successful re-introduction of 22 giraffes into the Northern Tuli Game Reserve (Notugre) in 1984/5 (see the storyline on our website), the reserve now has a population of over 700 giraffes. This conservation effort came full circle in early November 2021 when a Directors Permit was received from the Director of Wildlife and National Parks for the capture of 6 giraffes from Notugre to be relocated to Khama Rhino Sanctuary. The main aim of the translocation was to bring new genes into the existing Khama Rhino Sanctuary herd. 

In the early hours of the big day in mid-November 2021, scouts were placed out into the reserve to identify suitable groups of animals before the capture teams moved into the area. Sub adults were chosen to make the capture and transport of the giraffes safer and easier, whilst at the same time providing animals that would mature into contributors to the gene pool. 

The capture groups consisted of a lead game viewing vehicle which carried the veterinarian, the capture team leader, conservation managers from Khama Rhino Sanctuary and Notugre, a Department of Wildlife and National Parks officer and a Notugre landowner. This vehicle went in first to select a suitable animal and dart it. Once darted, the capture team staff assisted with firstly the loading of the giraffe onto a small capture field trailer, and then the transfer from this trailer to the truck trailer transport vehicle. 

In total, six sub adult giraffe were captured, consisting of three bulls and three cows, all of which were safely transported and released at Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Overall, it was a successful relocation and another major conservation achievement. Using a conservation practice like this helps locally extinct species to re-establish and helps enhance genetic diversity in existing populations. 

We think that the late Ted Steyn, the architect of the re-introduction of giraffes to Notugre all those years ago would, quite righty, be very proud that his vision succeeded to such an extent that we have now relocated giraffes from Notugre to assist with conservation efforts in other reserves. 

Video credit to Wim and Mags Vorster