Giraffes….

By Will Knocker:

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Maasai giraffes in the Mokoyeti Valley, NNP: in August 96 individuals were counted.

4-P1050770Despite the drought, giraffes are doing well, able to reach those parts of browse others unable to reach…3-P1050766

Old George, one of the dominant males..

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He is of a very dark complexion: Maasai giraffes vary enormously in their coat colours..

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A glimpse of the famous foot-long prehensile tongue

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Old George: King of all he surveys..

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Young, female twiga

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A young giraffe, the future in NNP, a haven for these amazing & majestic animals, in decline now throughout the African range….

 

Early Rains

By WILL KNOCKER (who has a new camera):

In NNP we’ve had 100 mm (4 inches) of rain in the last couple of weeks & the Park is looking beautiful…….as usual, at the first sign of rain the grazers head straight out of the park…..

Below, landscape & sky…..

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TheĀ  last ‘corridor’ remaining out of the Park is in the east of the Park in the glorious Athi Basin, where wildlife is now concentrated. (I shall post on the crossing shortly.)

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My favourites-eland (which means moose in Dutch!!) with abundant young.

Zebra, kongoni & eland, as well as the gazelle sp. drop their young beginning December….

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There are plenty of giraffe in NNP- 68 in the February count -definitely a MINIMUM number…

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???

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A solitary gnu in the park, Athi Basin in the background…

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And gnu calves & cows on the Sheep & Goat land just outside (but contiguous with) the park. Notice what is behind -to the south -the daily expanding township of Kitengela…..

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Buffalo at the Athi Dam, (247 counted in Feb Game Count.) I’m sure there are many more than this……

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An Athi River mammal eater with his friends (White faced whistling duck)

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NNP surely remains one of the best places in the wild to view Browse rhinos: here are 6 of them in the Athi Basin.

Giraffes Necking

Pictures by DAVE MCKELVIE:

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Fine photos of 2 bulls vying for power (=mating rights) in a graceful display of massive power

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The protagonists face up to one another

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Taking it in turns in this extraordinary ritual, using their giant heads as mallets,they bash against each other’s chests…

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These two look to me like young bulls practicing…

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The real thing is awesome as these huge mammals bash way at each other until one gives up….

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The Haughty Race

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Masai giraffe in the Nairobi National Park: one of the emblematic creatures of the African savannah….

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A group of young giraffe in the park: giraffe are breeding well despite high mortality owing to the 35-40 lion currently in the park…

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Superbly adapted to browsing the treetops, giraffe are able to make use of browse far beyond the reach of any other mammals. As there are no elephants in NNP, their only competetion is the park’s black (or browse) rhino. The above pic shows that long acacia thorns are NO PROBLEM!!

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What would the African landscape be like without these extraordinary, graceful & dignified creatures?

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Mother & calf in NNP

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The calf above: a few days old: notice the umbilical cord.

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We have about 150 giraffe in NNP & dispersal area. Unlike other migrating sp. (zebra, gnu) giraffe do not appear to be killed outside the park. The only worry is that we may run out of browse in the long run, unless predators keep the population stable……giraffe can often be seen out of the park, browsing on whistling thorn amongst the Masai cattle.

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Not only does NNP harbour significant numbers of rhinos (black & white), ostriches, lions, Coke’s hartebeest & many other sp. it also provides a haven for gentle giraffe: exterminated by man in many African countries.

And this in the middle of a city of 5 m………