Author: Joyce

‘It is drought that has caused the problem, not food scarcity,’ says conservationist

'It is drought that has caused the problem, not food scarcity,' says conservationist

Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests and zebras dead in Kenya amid prolonged drought

About 500 elephants have died in Kenya because of prolonged drought, with a further million expected to die, a conservationist has warned.

The last of Kenya’s eight elephant herds are in drought, as is much of sub-Saharan Africa, which is suffering from a prolonged dry spell, which has cut milk flow and turned large herds of elephants into a’moribund’ group.

A BBC reporter, who was given a walk round of the park after witnessing the deaths of elephants in the park, said the deaths were being reported by park guards who claimed the deaths came as a result of the long-term drought.

But she saw no evidence that drought was to blame.

Sidney Mwirigi, a conservationist working for Save the Elephants (Sam), said: ‘This is what the drought is doing.

‘The elephants have got so weak that a few animals die of old age and some die in accidents due to the shortage of food.’

Sam, a non-profit organisation in Nairobi that helps elephants, reported the deaths of more than 600 elephants including more than 500 in Samburu National Park.

Mr Mwirigi said the herds were not dying so many because of thirst, but because of the long-term dry spell.

He added: ‘The lack of food is the main cause of this problem.

‘It is drought that has caused the problem, not food scarcity.

‘Water resources are limited, so when water is scarce, it means it is difficult to find food.

Mr Mwirigi said Sam was currently organising a ‘Save the Elephants’ (Sam) conference in Nairobi on February 28.

‘We are also organising many other campaigns and fundraisers for Sam during the same period.’

Sam has set up teams of volunteer rangers in 16 countries to help the elephants to survive.

The Sam Rainsy, or Sam, Foundation is a non-profit organisation that helps elephants and has raised more than US$1.5 billion in donations since its inception in 2000.

Sam helps the world’s third largest elephant population by providing them with medical care, assistance with law, education, economic and community development.

It also helps elephant orphanages, which give them a safe, stable and well-

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