Concern over 179 Kenyan elephants dying in one year

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Elephants in Kenya are at even greater risk than poaching. The government has sounded the alarm about the damaging effects of climate change – even as it plans to build water pans in national parks to prevent more deaths.

In an interview with the TBENTourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala revealed that Kenya had lost 179 elephants in the past year due to drought.

Balala noted that the low rainfall has severely damaged the vegetation that supports elephants in the country and that the water pans have also dried up.

“At least 179 elephants have died of thirst in the past year, while poaching has claimed the lives of fewer than 10. It’s a red alert,” the CS said.

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Minister of Tourism Cabinet Najib Balala during a visit to Maasai Mara on February 19, 2021

Najib Balala twitter

“We forgot to invest in biodiversity management and ecosystems. We have only invested in illegal wildlife trade and poaching,” he added.

The drought crisis has killed 20 times more elephants in a year than poaching. Elephants had moved to Tsavo National Park in search of water, but the drought resulted in the death of the large animals.

According to the ministry, Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) had found carcasses in the Tsavo where many animals had fled.

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Elephants need expansive spaces when searching for wild food sources. Adults can consume up to 136 kg of food and drink more than 189 liters of water per day.

However, rivers are drying up, resulting in an inflexible and deadly environment that has affected vegetation.

In March, Balala stated that Kenya lost 62 elephants within five months due to drought.

The CS stated that the elephants were lost between August and December 2021.

“From August to December, 62 elephants died due to drought. We are rushing to build water pans in our parks, including in Tsavo, which is the hardest hit,” Balala told the National Assembly Finance Committee.

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He noted that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) did not have sufficient resources to place water pans in the drought-stricken areas.

“We as the Tourism Promotion Fund (TPF) are currently considering a request from the State Department for Wildlife of Ksh200 million to build water pans, drill boreholes, dams and provide water in Tsavo National Park,” he added. up.

Tourism CS Najib Balala

Tourism CS Najib Balala speaks at the launch of the Tourism and Travel, Health and Safety Protocols on July 1, 2020.

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