Hundreds of elephants and zebras are dying in Kenya due to drought

Hundreds of elephants and zebras are dying in Kenya due to drought

NAIROBI, Kenya — Hundreds of animals, including elephants and endangered Grevy’s zebras, have died in Kenyan wildlife reserves during East Africa’s worst drought in decades, a report released Friday said.

The Kenya Wildlife Service and other agencies have 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, the report said.

Parts of Kenya have experienced four consecutive seasons of inadequate rainfall over the past two years, with dire consequences for people and animals, including livestock.

According to the report’s authors, the worst affected ecosystems are located in Kenya’s most visited national parks, reserves and conservation areas, including the Amboseli, Tsavo and Laikipia-Samburu areas.

They called for an urgent aerial census in Amboseli to get a better picture of the drought’s impact on wildlife there.

Other experts have recommended immediate licks of affected areas with water and salt. Elephants, for example, drink 240 liters (63.40 gallons) of water a day, according to Jim Justus Nyamu, executive director of the Elephant Neighbors Center.

Experts urge to strengthen grass reserves for zebras.

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