An endangered breed of the giraffe specie, the rothschild, in Kenya has been given treatment for what authorities say is a bone tumour.
The condition caused it to have a big swelling around one of its eyes. Despite being resident in the Lake Nakuru National Park, it took social media outrage to force the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to go to the aid of the ailing giraffe.
KWS confirmed on Thursday that the said giraffe suffered from a bone tumour. “While it is in able condition to move, feed & water, excising the tumour proved difficult due to the extent of the growth that would cause potentially serious complications,” they wrote on Twitter.
“Led by Dr. Titus Kaitho, our vet team administered a palliative treatment of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs and the giraffe will be closely monitored,” their statement added.
A section of Kenyans on social media are incensed that it took social media to get the authorities to act and save an animal under their care.
The incident coincided with a Geneva conference where nations around the world moved to protect giraffes as an endangered species for the first time, drawing praise from conservationists and scowls from some sub-Saharan African nations.
Thursday’s vote by a key committee at the World Wildlife Conference known as CITES paves the way for the measure’s likely approval by its plenary next week. Kenya was a key campaigner for strict protection.
The plan would regulate world trade in giraffe parts, including hides, bone carvings and meat, while stopping short of a full ban. It passed 106-21 with seven abstentions.
“So many people are so familiar with giraffes that they think they’re abundant,” said Susan Lieberman, vice president of international policy for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “And in Southern Africa, they may be doing OK, but giraffes are critically endangered.”
Lieberman said giraffes were particularly at risk in parts of West, Central and East Africa.
The Wildlife Conservation Society said it was concerned about the multiple threats to giraffes that have already resulted in population decline, citing habitat loss, droughts worsened by climate change and the illegal killings and trade in giraffe body parts.