Rare endagered giraffes killed in Kenya reservation by hanging power lines

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Three rare giraffes were electrocuted to death when they walked into low-hanging power lines within a conservation area in western Kenya. All the animals were Rothschild’s giraffes, one of the most endangered subspecies of giraffe. The Kenya Power and Lighting Company, which owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution systems in the East African nation, said in a press release Monday that the deadly incident occurred in Soysambu Conservancy over the weekend. The company also said said it has begun “the process of enhancing the clearance of the electricity distribution infrastructure at Soysambu Conservancy,” which spans some 48,000 acres in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, about 85 miles northwest of Nairobi. It will conduct an audit of the entire infrastructure within the conservation area “to make any other rectifications that may be required.”

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“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, managing director and CEO of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company, said in a statement Monday. Power lines have been killing giraffes, vultures and flamingoes in the past. “Advice from experts was ignored,” Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu wrote on Twitter. Kenya is home to a total of 28,850 giraffes, including just 609 Rothschild’s giraffes.