Endangered Giraffes Electrocuted to Death by Power Lines in Kenyan Conservation Area

There are an estimated 1,399 mature Rothschild's giraffes in the world

Photo: Soysambu Conservancy

Multiple giraffes were electrocuted to death over the weekend in Kenya due to low hanging power lines in a conservation area.

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company – an electricity transmissions and distribution company that supplies to most of East Africa – announced on Monday that three Rothschild's giraffes died in the Soysambu Conservancy over the weekend.

The company reported that it began "the process of enhancing the clearance" of the power lines at the conservancy and that they are working with Kenya Wildlife Service and Soysambu Conservancy officials "to make any other rectifications that may be required."

Soysambu Conservancy

"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.

Ngugi added, "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."

The Kenyan Wildlife service also released a press release on Sunday reporting the loss of two giraffes.

They did not immediately respond to PEOPLE Magazine's request to comment.

"Preliminary reports indicate the height of electricity poles crossing Soysambu Conservancy are low, below giraffe's height," the release stated.

According to The Kenyan Wildlife service, there are a total of 28,850 giraffes in the country. 609 of those are Rothschild's giraffes, a rare species of the animal.

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Rothschild's giraffes were classified as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species in 2010, per the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

In 2018, their status was changed by the IUCN to "nearly threatened" as the population has started to slowly increase.

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