July 15, 2009

Puzzle of 40 elephants death

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 9:36 am

The drought currently ravaging the country has not spared wildlife especially in Northern Kenya. In the past two months, over 40 elephants have died in Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu Districts in what was initially thought to be a disease outbreak. The laboratory tests carried out by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers have not detected any disease so far. The only probable reason why the animals were dying is drought. The elephants have not been getting enough fodder especially the young ones.

The affiliation is mostly affecting elephants aged between two and eight years leading to conclusions that they are unable to get enough feed. Laikipia has the largest number of wildlife outside national parks in the country. The animals roam freely in the plateau and compete for fodder with livestock. But in the past few months, the ground has been left bare by domestic animals that have been driven into the region by pastoralists migrating fro Samburu and Isiolo in search of pasture.

The elephants deaths have caused alarm among conservationists, coming a time when there is an upsurge of poaching in the region. In the past few months, more than a dozens animals have been killed by poaching. According to a census done by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) last year (2008) there was slightly over 7,000 elephants in Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo ecosystems.

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