Following severe drought in Kenya late last year that was particularly harsh on Amboseli National Park in southern part of the country, there was an estimated 80% loss in herbivore numbers in this Park. As a result, lions and other predators that rely on this herbivore population for food have been having a rough time.
To feed themselves and their offspring in light of the decline in prey, they have been raiding cattle bomas and killing livestock. Tension has been mounting and retaliatory lion hunting outings are being carried out by the local Maasai people much more often than before the drought.
To try and diffuse the high human-wildlife tension in the area, the Kenya Wildlife Service has started moving zebras and wildebeests from Soysambu Conservancy in Naivasha to the Amboseli National Park in order to restock the prey population and bring about a balance in the ecosystem. This is one of the stories that we have in this month’s issue of WildlifeDirect News.
We also have the good news of the return of Wild Dogs to the Serengeti after a 20-year absence and the sad news of the death of Mountain Gorilla infant Sekanabo from injuries associated with snaring. We also have a list of other important blog posts coming from the conservation frontline in the last month
Kenya Moves Zebras to Amboseli
During the drought that ravaged this land late last year, many herbivores either died or moved away leaving lions and large predators without much prey. This has resulted in more frequent predation on Maasai cattle. The consequent threat of retaliatory killing of predators by the Maasai has been mounting to highly tense levels.
The KWS recons that the move will provide natural prey for large predators, thus reducing attacks on cattle and eventually diffusing the threat of retaliatory killings.
Paula was on site this weekend and took some amazing pictures of Day 20 of the translocation exercise and posted them on Baraza.
Read more about the expected effect of the translocation on the Lion Guardians blog.
Wild Dogs Return to Serengeti After 20 Years
Photographer captures this important moment in history
A classic example of being at the right place at the right time granted Uwe Skrzypczak a rare chance to photograph the first sighting of Wild Dogs in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, in 20 years. It seems that Wild Dogs had returned to Serengeti – after two decades.
Uwe Skrzypczak, a friend of WildlifeDirect and a photographer whose work mostly covers Serengeti was having lunch at the Ndutu Lodge when he got word that some 7 wild dogs had been spotted near Lake Masek, some 3 km from the lodge. At first skeptical about the sudden appearance of these highly endangered predators, Uwe rushed to the site immediately after, and took amazing photographs. The low resolution versions of these photos were published on Baraza together with his account of how lucky he was on that day.
Wild Dogs are among the most endangered predators in Africa with only a fraction of their original population still remaining. They have suffered persecution for decades and, with the growing human population, their range has shrunk, and is still shrinking.
The return of the dogs into Serengeti is a good sign that perhaps the northern Tanzania park may have again become friendly to this most efficient of hunters.
Donate on Baraza to enable us keep you updated on what is happening in the conservation frontline.
The Death of Sekanabo
Mountain Gorilla infant despite promising vet intervention
An infant Mountain Gorilla of the Kabirizi group in DRC’s Virunga National Park died in early February from what is thought to have been complications from snaring.Virunga rangers had found the male infant, Sekanabo (Nsekanabo) son of the female Tumaini, snared and had been freed.
He was badly injured, presumably by the snare, and the nylon rope snare was still tied tightly to his ankle. Veterinary intervention was deemed necessary.
Gorilla Doctors thus went to the forest, darted both mother and son and treated the wounds. Part of his mouth and nose were badly ripped and needed two layers of stitches to hold together. Once the infant was treated, he was left with his group which was then monitored closely by trackers.
Sekanabo was showing some improvement the following day but by the end of that day, news got to the Gorilla Doctors that the infant had died. An ‘autopsy’ would follow to determine the cause of death.
You can support Gorilla Doctors’ work by donating on their blog.
Things you need to know
- Furadan most common poison in USA
- Baby elephant rescued and reunited with mother
- How to donate to Lion Guardians and where your money goes
- Compensating Maasai herders for cattle killed by lions
- Little Tompey, the chimp with a bullet in the chest
- Tacugama takes in their 100th chimp
- Three cheetah brothers break tradition by hunting together
- Highlights of Nairobi National Park game count
Stay up to date – check what’s happening in the new WildlifeDirect Breaking News page. It’s new – but we’ll be keeping it updated.