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Harsh weather affects Kenya's wildlife

21 January 2015, 09:08

Nairobi - Hundreds of wild animals are staring at death in Kenya due to the ongoing drought that has adversely affected various game parks across the country for the last couple of months.

With failed rains, lack of pastures and water has hit the wild animals leaving many weak while others had fled to private farms.

The Warden in charge of Hellsgate National Park, Muteru Njauini, admitted on Tuesday that the harsh weather condition was taking its toll on the wild animals.

Muteru noted that some of the wild animals had fled Hellsgate for Mt Longonot National Park which was less affected.

"The harsh weather conditions have affected pastures forcing wild animals to relocate to other areas within the county," he said in Naivasha, about 90 km northwest of Nairobi.

Muteru noted that there was ample drinking water in the two national parks, adding that no death had been reported.

The senior officer said the issue had been complicated by the closure of various wildlife corridors around Lake Naivasha.

"Many wild animals cannot access the lake for water or the riparian land for pastures due to closure of corridors and increased development," he said.

Last week, two hippos seeking pastures around the riparian land were electrocuted after they strayed into a nearby farm.

Also read: Kenyan wildlife population at risk due to 'alien invasion'

This came as cases of human-wild conflict around the game-parks and game sanctuaries continued to increase with farmers counting losses running into thousands of shillings.

Several large farmers from Karati division threatened to relocate to other areas following an increase in cases of buffalo attacks.

The farmers who specialize in barley, wheat and star grass growing said that they were undergoing huge losses due to invasion of their farms by the buffaloes.

A senior manager in one of the affected farms, James Mwaniki, said that the number of wild animals was on the increase.

"We cannot control the animals as they are wild and our efforts to get support from KWS have been fruitless and many farmers are thinking of relocating," he said.

Mwaniki said that the issue had been complicated by the high number of pastoralists seeking pastures in the area with their animals straying into private land.

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- Xinhua


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