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We are beyond excited to welcome 3 new members to The River Club family!

Originating from a game farm in Choma, southern Zambia, the two female giraffes, Geraldine and Juju (short for Justyne), both under two years old and Joshua, the four-year-old male, arrived in the early hours of last month to a holding boma on the property. We have been keeping a watchful eye on them and it's great to see how well they are settling in to their new home.

Interesting fact - giraffe are already extinct in at least seven countries in Africa and as a species is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List. There are four distinct species of giraffe: Northern giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, Southern giraffe giraffa (from which the three originate), Reticulated giraffe G. reticulata and Masai giraffe G. tippelskirchi.

Giraffe numbers have plummeted by a staggering 40% in the last three decades, and less than 100,000 remain today. Habitat loss through expanding agriculture, human-wildlife conflict, civil unrest and poaching for their meat, pelts, and tails are among the primary reasons for the decline. Although this sounds the alarm, there is reason for hope. In the past few decades, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have managed to pull the West African giraffe back from the brink of extinction.

Although the giraffa subspecies seems to be increasing in numbers, others, especially the Thornicroft in Luangwa, are not so fortunate. We would like guests to better understand this mammal so often seen during their travels but not fully understood, and also to learn of the danger they are currently facing. Future plans include linking into the global NGO Giraffe Conservation to help raise funds in order to support giraffe conservation around Africa.

The three youngsters will remain in the boma until February, allowing them time to acclimatise to everyday life at the lodge and, once released, will have the freedom to roam the 65 acres of private land at leisure!

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