Hundreds of elephants, wildebeest and zebras have died across Kenya amid the nation’s longest drought in decades.
“Kenya rangers, community scouts and research teams counted the deaths of 205 elephants, 512 wildebeests, 381 common zebras, 51 buffaloes, 49 Grevy’s zebras and 12 giraffes in the past nine months,” said a report released on Friday. said the country’s Ministry of Tourism.
“The drought has had a negative impact on herbivores and especially wild animals and zebras.
Prolonged droughts across the Horn of Africa for the past four consecutive rainy seasons have left some 18 million people affected by food shortages in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, according to reports from the World Food Programme.
The United Nations’ International Meteorological Organization said the drought is the region’s longest in four decades.
In Kenya, periods of below-average rainfall have dried up riverbeds and destroyed grasslands in game reserves, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
“The worst affected systems are home to some of Kenya’s most visited national parks, game reserves and game reserves, including the Amboseli, Tsavo and Laikipia-Samburu regions,” the report said.
Launching the report, Kenya’s Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Minister Peninah Malonza said steps were being taken to save the animals’ lives – including digging boreholes and diverting water to dried up water pans and dams.
“The drought has caused the death of wildlife, mainly herbivores,” Malonza said.
“Mortality has been created due to depletion of food resources as well as water scarcity,” she added. According to the ministry, Kenya had only 36,000 elephants left last year.
In an interview with the BBC in July, Najib Balala, Kenya’s former cabinet minister for wildlife and tourism, said climate change is now killing 20 times more elephants than poaching.