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Giraffes return to Angola for first time since 1990s

Words by Tess Becker

In human conflict, the people affected generally take center stage but nature also feels the strain. Animals are often displaced due to warfare, sometimes so much so that they completely disappear from their native habitat, as was the case with giraffes in Angola.

But now giraffes are returning to the country for the first time since the 1990s. The first native giraffes have arrived in Namibia with the intent of establishing a population in a national park.

The giraffes, seven males and seven females, traveled more than 800 miles from a private game farm near Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa region of central Namibia to Iona national park in the south-west corner of Angola.

“It’s great seeing a species back where it should be,” said Pedro Monterroso, Iona national park manager. “It’s a message of hope for conservation in this country.”

Giraffes are notoriously difficult to transport so there was a massive effort getting the group to the national park. This is one small group to test the viability of the plan but ideally is far from the last group to be sent over with the goal of restoring the animal to Angola as a whole. 

“In Iona, our plan is to set up a new viable population of Angolan giraffe in Angola that can thrive in this vast landscape,” said Stephanie Fennessy, executive director and co-founder of Giraffe Conservation Foundation. “These animals are all young, so it will be a while before they start to breed. We’ll monitor them long-term and see how they fare in their new home before thinking about adding more.”

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here

Florida Bicycle Association. An organization that helps mobilize people and promote greener living and safer biking. Find out more

Collective Sun. They help nonprofits get outfitted with solar power capabilities. Check them out here

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life On Land.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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