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Hundreds of elephants, zebras die as Kenya weathers worst drought in decades

Officials counted the deaths of 205 elephants, 512 wildebeests, 381 common zebras, 51 buffalos, 49 Grevy’s zebras and 12 giraffes in the past nine months..
An elephant that was killed by Kenya Wildlife Service rangers after it killed a woman as it was looking for water and food amid the drought, lies in Loolkuniyani, Samburu County in Kenya on Oct. 16. Hundreds of animals have died in Kenyan wildlife preserves during East Africa's worst drought in decades, according to a report released Friday.
An elephant that was killed by Kenya Wildlife Service rangers after it killed a woman as it was looking for water and food amid the drought, lies in Loolkuniyani, Samburu County in Kenya on Oct. 16. Hundreds of animals have died in Kenyan wildlife preserves during East Africa's worst drought in decades, according to a report released Friday. [ BEN CURTIS | AP ]
Published Nov. 4

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

The Kenya Wildlife Service and other bodies counted the deaths of 205 elephants, 512 wildebeests, 381 common zebras, 51 buffalos, 49 Grevy’s zebras and 12 giraffes in the past nine months, the report states.

Parts of Kenya have experienced four consecutive seasons with inadequate rain in the past two years, with dire effects for people and animals, including livestock.

Buffalo feed on grass brought by a ranger in Samburu County, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya on Oct. 14. Hundreds of animals have died in Kenyan wildlife preserves during East Africa's worst drought in decades, according to a report released Friday.
Buffalo feed on grass brought by a ranger in Samburu County, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya on Oct. 14. Hundreds of animals have died in Kenyan wildlife preserves during East Africa's worst drought in decades, according to a report released Friday. [ PHOTOSHOTS LTD. | AP ]

The worst-affected ecosystems are home to some of Kenya’s most-visited national parks, reserves and conservancies, including the Amboseli, Tsavo and Laikipia-Samburu areas, according to the report’s authors.

They called for an urgent aerial census of wildlife in Amboseli to get a broader view of the drought’s impact on wild animals there.

Other experts have recommended the immediate provision of water and salt licks in impacted regions. Elephants, for example, drink 240 liters (63.40 gallons) of water per day, according to Jim Justus Nyamu, executive director of the Elephant Neighbors Center.

Zebras feed on grass brought by rangers in Samburu County, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya on Oct. 14. Hundreds of animals have died in Kenyan wildlife preserves during East Africa's worst drought in decades, according to a report released Friday.
Zebras feed on grass brought by rangers in Samburu County, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya on Oct. 14. Hundreds of animals have died in Kenyan wildlife preserves during East Africa's worst drought in decades, according to a report released Friday. [ BEN CURTIS | AP ]

For Grevy’s zebras, experts urge enhancing provisions of hay.

By EVELYNE MUSAMBI, Associated Press.

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