Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests and zebras dead in Kenya amid prolonged drought
Nearly 400 elephants, wildebeests and zebras drowned as a result of prolonged drought in Kenya’s western province of Meru, making it the single largest elephant mortality event this year, said a report issued by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
The report titled “The impact of drought on livestock and wildlife in the Makueni district” has said that there is a “very serious” threat to the ecosystems of Meru’s district, where the population of wildebeest have been reduced to 25 percent.
The water and ecosystem of Meru’s district, which straddles Northern and Eastern Kenya, have been severely affected by prolonged drought this year, which has caused an enormous loss of livestock.
According to the report: “As a result of drought, the livestock of the Makueni District has been seriously affected this year.
“The livestock population of the district has been reduced to 25%, the worst recorded reduction in the livestock population.”
“The livestock are experiencing acute malnutrition, with an important reduction in milk production,” said the report. “The livestock population have not had access to water for more than six months.”
Wildlife researcher John Ondupa said that “the situation has deteriorated significantly” and the livestock were left with no other resource than water to forage and survive.
According to Ondupa, the main cause of death of the cattle and wildebeest in Meru is that they had been forced to live in a dry environment where nothing could survive.
He added: “Farmers were forced to put more livestock to the ground because it was the only way to make their lives.”
There are estimated to be 400 elephants in Meru’s district, Ondupa said.
According to the report, the drought, which lasted for eight months, left an estimated 300,000 cattle and sheep dead on their lands.
“The drought has affected the livestock in Meru in several ways,” said Ondupa who told Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper that drought has caused the death of livestock due to