3 Endangered Giraffes Electrocuted To Death

(Jean Christophe Verhaegen/AFP via Getty Images)

Elizabeth Weibel Contributor
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Three giraffes from the Soysambu Conservancy in Kenya died after walking into low-hanging power lines, according to a Tuesday ABC News report.

The Rothschild’s giraffes, an endangered sub-species of the Northern giraffe, walked into the power lines and were electrocuted, ABC News reported. The power lines are owned and operated by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company.

The Rothschild’s giraffe was officially classified as endangered in 2010. however, as their population numbers started to once again rise, they were reclassified as being “near threatened,” according to ABC News.

“The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) hereby informs the public that Kenya Power and Lighting Company is currently assessing the situation in Soysambu Conservancy in Nakuru, after reports that two giraffes were electrocuted to death,” the Kenya Wildlife Service said in a statement on their website.

“We regret this incident because we recognize that wildlife forms an integral part of our natural and cultural psyche, and we appreciate the feedback shared by various stakeholders on this matter,” Bernard Ngugi, the managing director and CEO of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company explained in a statement. (RELATED: US Successfully Clones Endangered Animal For First Time)

“Ensuring that we adhere to the highest forms of safety in all our undertakings, is a prerequisite for us. We thus take any electricity-related accidents seriously and we will use the lessons gleaned to avoid a reoccurrence of the same.”

In the wake of this deadly incident, the Kenya Power and Lighting Company has reportedly announced that it is making changes and starting “the process of enhancing the clearance of the electricity distribution infrastructure at Soysambu Conservancy,” in addition to working with Kenya’s Wildlife Service, Soysambu Conservancy, and others to make adequate changes.

“Sad that it takes these kinds of deaths to wake some people up!” tweeted Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu. Kahumbu shared that these power lines often contribute to the deaths of giraffes, vultures, and flamingoes.

According to the statement from KWS, there are currently around 28,850 giraffes in the country of Kenya, of which 609 are classified as Rothschild’s giraffes.