extreme drought threatens animals and people in East Africa
The eastern and central regions of the Greater Horn of Africa are experiencing their longest and most severe drought in 40 years.
According the world meteorological organization, this is the fourth consecutive season of failed rains. The prolonged drought is ravaging wildlife and livestock, while putting millions of human lives at risk.
wildlife struggle to survive in Kenya
The drought in Kenya has killed hundreds of elephants and numerous other wildlife this year.
IFAW’s rangers at Olgulului Ololarashi Group Ranch in the Amboseli landscape are seeing more animals that are lost, dehydrated or hungry on their patrols than ever before.
Evan Mkala, IFAW’s program manager for the Amboseli region, says the carcasses are almost everywhere. “I have lived around here for most of my life, and we have never seen anything this devastating,” he says. “You can smell the rotting carcasses all around the area.”
In addition to helping animals that are too weak to move, the rangers are tasked with removing tusks from dead elephants almost every other week to prevent the ivory from being stolen by poachers, in line with the Kenya Wildlife Service’s policies.
Evan explains that incidences of poaching have been on the rise, with poachers desperate for money to purchase water and hay for their cattle. “The lack of food security and rainfall has pushed people to drastic measures.”
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