A viral photo on social media of a giraffe with an eye tumor has jolted the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to take action and seek treatment for the ailing animal.
According to a tweep who uploaded the photo on Wednesday evening, the picture of the Rothschild's giraffe was taken at Lake Nakuru National Park.
"This giraffe at the lake NAKURU National Park needs treatment. It's a Rothschild's giraffe, one of the most endangered species in the world. @kwskenya," @OdeoSirari tweeted.
This giraffe at the lake NAKURU National Park needs treatment. Its a Rothschild's giraffe, one of the most endangered species in the world. @kwskenya pic.twitter.com/QhgeXkuEdt
-- Odeo Sirari (@OdeoSirari) August 21, 2019
In their response, KWS only said they had taken note and escalated the matter to their vet team.
This response attracted the fury of a concerned online community, who lashed out at KWS for their sloppiness.
"I was in Nakuru National Park in April and this giraffe's eye was swollen meaning no one has attended to it since!!," @sarahnmwangi commented.
"Somebody is sleeping on his/her job," posted @JoyceChepngetic.
Kindly help campaign for the treatment of this giraffe. It is a Rothschild's giraffe, one of the most endangered species. Photo by a Mr Kavindu last Saturday at Kenya's Lake Nakuru National Park. @WWF_Kenya @kwskenya @pauludoto @phenahs @aghandan pic.twitter.com/VByw6Yku56
-- Mesha Kenya (@MeshaKenya) August 21, 2019
"This people are jokers... you mean if Citizen don't visit the park they cannot notice such????? that problem seems it has been there for a while. I thought you have animal care takers for 24/7 who could have noticed this... shame on you http://KWS.it must be in pain," @wambui_deshow tweeted.
"Dispatch a vet team asap. What's the helicopter for? Ferrying politicians to dance on citizens' graves?," asked @MalilePhil
"That eye is gone. It probably poked it's eye on some poisonous thorn bush while eating. An injection will suffice & it will be good. Happens to most animals esp cows. KWS should do their thing asap!" posted @yuleShiks
"And we want a video of this giraffe being treated and you post it back on this platform @kwskenya," @kipericks888 tweeted.
By Wednesday evening KWS confirmed that the ailing giraffe had been found and was being attended to.
"Yes. Our vet team is on standby to treat the giraffe and is looking for it," KWS corporate communications manager Paul Udoto said.
He also mentioned that tissue samples have been taken to establish the nature of the tumor and the treatment required.
Nine species of giraffe are found in Africa, three of them in Kenya. These are the reticulated giraffe, also known as the Somali giraffe (15,524), Rothschild's giraffe (609) and the Masai giraffe (12,717).