Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests and zebras dead in Kenya amid prolonged drought and dwindling water resources
At least 30 elephants, more than 150 wildebeests and zebras as well as a turtle and some water buffalo have died in the most devastating drought in Kenya for more than a decade.
A baby crocodile was also found dead in a river in Nairobi.
Elephant death toll
The animals were found dead in the Nakuru National Park, which is home to the endangered mountain and plain striped mountain boa, as well as one of the largest populations of African elephants in the region.
The animals are known to be a key food source for wildebeests during the dry season (December-May), when water levels in the Mara River, a major water source for the ecosystem, plunge to record-low levels.
With only one river flowing, the park is increasingly difficult to access, and local people and tourists suffer as a result.
“People cannot go to the park because there’s not enough water. We are going to close our national park and move to a new one,” an official from the Kenya Wildlife Service told the Associated Press news agency.
The drought is the worst in the region since 2009, when the country lost more than 60 percent of its water resources to floods and drought.
The official said a team of volunteers and local people had been fighting to bring water to an area bordering on the Nakuru National Park in an attempt to quench the animals’ thirst.
It’s unclear how long the mass death took to occur, but the news could not ease the local people’s misery.
“The government should do something about the water, it is our life,” said a local woman, who gave her name as Ms Nyanza.
‘We have been facing a disaster’
Nyanza said she was visiting the Nakuru National Park with her husband and