Fupi the orphaned giraffe returns to his whisperer – Ami Vitale’s best photograph
‘Lekupania is an animal keeper who saved Fupi after he fell in a ditch. Every morning, Fupi and all the other rehabilitated giraffes come back to check on him’
Lekupania is an incredible animal whisperer. He went from looking after his family’s livestock to becoming one of the best wildlife keepers in Kenya. He’s rehabilitated so many species, from warthogs to gerenuks, and he’s never lost an animal under his care. He has rescued even the most vulnerable, difficult creatures, such as Grévy’s zebra, which is a highly endangered species.
Lekupania works in Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy in the far north of Kenya. The giraffe is an orphaned baby “reticulated giraffe” named Fupi, which means Shorty in Swahili. Fupi was injured when he fell into a ditch. He was rehabilitated and returned to the wild. And now all the rehabilitated giraffes come every morning to check on Lekupania. They do a round of the stables and greet him, then make their way back to the wild.