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Hundreds of wildebeest found dead in Tanzania

Hundreds of lifeless wildebeest were spotted this morning in the Mara River in northern Serengeti, Tanzania. The sad sight was captured on phone cameras by safari guides.

wildebeest-dead

The images below can only be described as tear-jerking. The pile of carcasses stretches into the distance and scavenger birds have already started circling the wildebeest.

wildebeest-dead-mara-serengeti

According to our source on the ground, the authorities have been contacted and the exact cause of death has yet to be confirmed. If the past is anything to go by, the wildebeest chose a crossing point that was too deep.

wildebeest-dead-mara

As an African travel operator with a love for our continent and wildlife inhabitants, the incident saddens us deeply and is a reminder of what happened in 2007 when 10,000 wildebeest died in a mass drowning.

Safari 365

Safari365, a leading African travel operator, provides life-enriching journeys to the continents finest destinations. Based in South Africa and offices in Brazil and Australia, our vision is providing tailor-made trips while supporting sustainability and development efforts through tourism.

  • Esme’ Blair

    How aweful. Not only are they poached in large numbers , now this!

    • Eric Nyaga

      err..wildebeests are rarely poached here in east africa

      • Mike

        There is no excuse for ignorance. Wildebeest in their thousands are killed while outside the park and sold in Arusha as beef.

        • Me

          I love beef!

        • Eric Nyaga

          you are supra-ignorant or haven’t researched well or BOTH..the cases of poaching within the wildebeest population is because their tails are prized as flywhisks and not so much about the beef which is not tasty..maybe you would have said zebra meat whose poaching for meat is more prevalent and i would have agreed.

          • aussiemigrant

            Zebra is disgusting , wildebeest makes good biltong and a young one excellent steaks.

        • Henrik Thaddeus

          This happens every year. Why is the media so into over sensationalizing everything?

          • Katy Hennessy

            This river has been dammed…my guess. The water levels are being manipulated and the animals drown. Happened in Quebec in 1984.

        • Per Dalum Laursen

          Not only in Arusha, in Mikumi too.

      • Gerald

        rarely is an overstatement

      • http://www.mbalageti.com Stephan Grobler

        I work here on the Western Corridor of the Serengeti. When wildebeest gets poached, it is by the villagers from the surrounding area. For one reason and one reason alone, for the meat to feed their village and/or family.

    • Gerrie Ferreira

      If they are hunted they are eaten no matter for trophy purposes or not.

  • Austin

    Tear jerking? No, starving children is tear jerking. This is just the circle of life.

    • KKobe36

      Well stated Austin

    • Kradenko

      wow… your comment…

    • ohknowyoudidnt

      The demise of any of this worlds inhabitants is “tear jerking”.

    • Eric Nyaga

      they just mistakenly chose a deep point with probably steep muddy embankments and the stampede made them drown en masse..happens every year during the migration
      ..

    • Henrik Thaddeus

      Agreed. This happens every year but the people who don’t live there wouldn’t know that. Don’t you just love the sensationalistic media?

      • http://www.deji.ca Deji

        I love how they never let the facts intrude on their desire to sensationalize every phenomenon. Gets pretty boring after a while though.

    • Simone Pasley

      No offence but in africa (central and southern) most of the time children starving is down to bad family planning. If you are african most of us find it easier to be more sypathetic towards the animals. I know that its a harsh statement but its a harsh reality.

      • #hatewhiteforeignersinafrica##

        U are sick mentally retarted you stupid pervet wat do u know l about southern africa

        • Simone Pasley

          I was born there and I have lived in more countries in southern Africa then alot of people on this feed as I have been brought up with animal conservation and ecology been a main topic of my families business.

          • http://www.deji.ca Deji

            Simone, you succeed in making absolutely no sense at all. Carry on.

        • Michael

          why don’t you explain what you are in disagreement with instead of sounding like an angry idiot who can’t spell. I hate in when people get online to call other people names when they are the ones who have no idea what they’re talking about.

      • Ruth-Anne White

        So excuses not to feed the children (‘bad family planning’) is acceptable. To me, if you know you have this availability of meat EVERY YEAR, why is it not being utilized to help your poverty and food resources? Now that is inhumane to me

        • Simone Pasley

          It isn’t inhumane . The problem lies that there are too many children to feed due to the parents not limiting themselves . Alot of the parents are in a bad position to begin with . With barely being able to keep themselves alive … and then they bring 5 kids into the world that starve as there is not enough to go around and expect people to look after them. I would call that selfish.

          In War torn countries it’s a different story because they didn’t ask to be put into that situation. But when you willingly have children that you can’t look after its irresponsible

          • Michael

            Simone you are exactly right. The PC crowd can’t handle rationalism.

      • http://www.deji.ca Deji

        The only thing that’s harsh about your statement is its blatant irrationality and overt racism. Give yourself a hearty pat on the back.

        • Michael

          Deji, please explain. What about Simone Pasley’s comment could be taken as irrational or racist??

          • http://www.deji.ca Deji

            Michael, the discussion is about mass deaths in a wildebeest herd; Simone opens with that tiresome bromide “no offence” (bigots invariably tack this opener to statements which are founded more heavily in prejudice than in fact or well-founded opinion).
            She unaccountably determines that it’s acceptable to use this discussion as an acceptable platform to broadcast her opinion about the cause of children starving in Africa.
            Most importantly, the “explanation” for the starvation is bereft of even the most cursory attempt to examine the roots of childhood starvation in Africa (or anywhere). She feels completely comfortable with making sweeping (and condescending and inaccurate) generalizations about entire peoples based on their ethnicities.
            Typical thinking (non-thinking actually) of garden-variety bigots everywhere.

          • Simone Pasley

            I didn’t bring up starving children in Africa. I simply made a comment on someone comment who did. I never once mentioned race. I’m going on what I have seen and experienced…. people value a good discussion. 🙂

          • http://www.deji.ca Deji

            You never once mentioned race? You didn’t need to. When one reads a blanket statement about the family-planning ineptitude of people in “africa (central and southern) ” (your words…) we can be pretty certain that the author does not intend to denigrate folks of European or Asian heritage.

            Yes, Austin mentioned starving children. He contrasted the pity that one might feel for starving human children with the outpourings over animal deaths that he considered to be part of the circle of life. You countered with the (odious and inaccurate statement) about “…most of us (Africans) find it easier to be more sypathetic towards the animals…” I don’t know which Africans you’ve been hanging around with but it takes a really special breed of human being to make such cavalier statements about human suffering and simultaneously claim to be “sypathetic” towards animals.

            I’m sure you will soon detail your personal experiences which allow you to so confidently link African infant starvation and Africans’ poor family planning. Just be prepared to respond to questions about your declarations from knowledgable readers.

    • Michael

      Austin, starving children IS the circle of life.

  • pixperson

    Why is man so arrogant that they think they are the best thing that happene to this earth. I think not. Any loss of life is terrible

    • Steven Hamilton-healey

      Man is without a doubt the worst thing that ever happened to this planet

      • midtown

        What has this story got to do with ‘man’? It’s nature – get over it!

        • Ruth-Anne White

          So you think all of those animals just died, all at the same time, from nature, something natural? You do not think something we human’s created could have caused this devastation? Interesting?

          • midtown

            Scroll down the page and read the comment from the National Park authority.
            This is real life – not a Walt Disney work of fiction.

          • Maria De Leon

            these events are happening all over the world, massive animal die offs, who ever thinks it’s a normal occurrence and that nothing is wrong have their head buried in the sand.

          • William Kister

            Many mass extinctions have happened before man. I am sure when cyanobacteria started pumping out oxygen as a waste product from photosynthesis that anaerobic bacteria weren’t very thankful for the new air that killed them off.

    • Tyndale Israel

      “For the condition of the children of men, and the condition of beasts are even as one condition unto them. As the one dieth, so dieth the other: for they have all one breath, and there is no excellency of man above the beast: for all is vanity.”
      Ecclesiastes 3:19

  • antonie Vandenberg

    Africans have to many children and because of the whitemans interference they are not dying at the rate they should. Now we have starvation and disease. They destroy and kill everything in sight. The animals are not a drain on the continent

    • Daphne

      You must be very young.

      • HCorrigall

        And stupid!

    • Kevin Immelman

      Or very stupid!

    • http://www.deji.ca Deji

      ” Africans have to many children and because of the whitemans interference they are not dying at the rate they should. Now we have starvation and disease. ”

      I wonder.
      Was it a prolonged period of childhood starvation which damaged the mind which produced the piffle you scribbled above? Or should we blame this incandescent display of ignorance on the effects of some hitherto undiagnosed brain-eating disease?
      I really wonder. But in either case, you need help. Urgently.

      • HCorrigall

        You are the one who needs urgent help-tell us how long you have lived and where in Africa before you be so smartass!! What do you really know??

        • http://www.deji.ca Deji

          The previous poster managed to deserve some attention with her convoluted, illogical diatribe.

          You, on the other hand have only succeeded in being painfully boring. I truly wish you were articulate enough to be mildly irritating. You’re not. You’re. Just. Dull.

          Now go back and SLOWLY read through all the posts again. I’ll give you one more opportunity to actually attempt to rebut my prior comments.
          I urge you; don’t re-introduce that utterly inane question about where I live. You would be exposing a lot more about the limits of your intellectual capacity than you could hope to reveal about my residence.

          Try again.

  • Stephen Palos

    There is every possibility that a phalanx of tourist vehicles parked ready to view the exodus somewhere caused the lead animals to hesitate enough to cause build-up behind in the river, with the tourists not even noticing the effect in the water and the drowned animals floating downstream to where they bundled up.
    If so this is a typical example of how (non-consumptive) tourism can be even more devastating to wildlife numbers that consumptive tourism (aka – hunting)
    Will be interesting to find out the facts…

    • DWiedrich

      Omg please…take your consumptive tourism hunting BS and shove it. I am so sick of you hunters trying to pass off your bloodlust for conservation. Go sell crazy somewhere else.

    • Michelle

      you make a good point Stephen. Sadly not all tourists display common sense and allow a clear exit passage – too much jostling for the best (camera) position.

    • Anthony Ochieng

      Well said Steve.

    • Eric Downer

      “A Phalanx” ? Oh please ! What a pompous, self-opinionated, statement of guesswork drivel.

      • Stephen Palos

        See this genius

        • Eric Downer

          Doesn’t take a “genius” to figure out that EVERY vehicle is owned and driven by South Africans, who should know better. The paying “Tourists” are merely the passengers. Poor management will always create problems, again the South Africans at fault.

          • Stephen Palos

            You really are a special kind of stupid. To insult South Africans, as a Portsmouth Pom who was probably too useless to ever go understand any of your old colonies. Do you even KNOW the distance between the Limpopo River and Masai Mara. It’s a “tad” further than John ‘o Groats to Landsend

          • Eric Downer

            For “South Africans”, substitute Kenyans, Tanzanians, whatever, but the same applies to that pitiful photo of Tour Operators lining their pockets, however it affects Wildlife.

          • Eric Downer

            I have the greatest respect for the vast majority of South Africans, but this does not include you. I don’t refer to you as a Spik or a Wop because of your ancestry, and I have little time for so-called ‘hunters’ with their high-power guns, telescopic sights, off-roader full of ‘back-up’, who pose with that self-satisfied smirk next to a dead animal that had zero chance of escaping the bullet. That’s not ‘Hunting’, it’s ritual execution, as for “Consumable Conservation”, don’t make me laugh.

  • steffi

    as long as no tourist blocked their way or any poisening caused it
    it’s the circle of life

  • Diane Anderson

    SAD SAD SAD

    • HCorrigall

      This has been going on before video cameras were invented-so why the big deal now. Never lived permanently in Africa-do not comment as you know stuff all about it!!

  • Dutch550

    They all drowned!??

  • Paulette Fay

    Poor creatures

  • http://farmlifeec.blogspot.com Kate Webster

    the interesting part will be to see how many of the ‘scavengers’ appear to do the normal cleaning up as the vultures in Africa are under tremendous pressure.

  • tric

    So SAD…

  • Naomi Radunski

    Please keep us up to date as to what happened here.

  • Elibariki Simon

    This is natural phenomenon and we have to know that during the migration a number of catastrophes occur, including disease, predation and accidents which put the livelihood of migrating animals at high risk. so poaching has nothing to do with this, Lets nature be…viva serengeti

  • Ibrahim

    Deaths of Wildebeest in Mara River a natural phenomenon

    On 28
    th
    September, 2015 Africa Geographic website run a story with a
    caption “hundreds of wildebeest found dead in Tanzania”. The website
    posted a number of pictures taken along Mara river displaying dead
    wildebeest and went further stating that “…the authorities have been
    contacted and the exact cause of death has yet to be confirmed”. Tanzania
    National Parks would like to clarify on the story which has also been
    quoted by other social media as follows:

    Serengeti Wildebeest Migration is an annual natural phenomenon which
    takes place between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai
    Mara Game Reserve in Kenya where a number of animals up to two
    millions animals mostly wildebeest and zebra move in a clockwise
    rotational route determined by the availability of grazing and water.

    During the migration a number of catastrophes occur, including disease,
    predation and accidents which put the livelihood of migrating animals at
    high risk.

    Drowning in Mara River is one of the occurrences during the migration in
    the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and it is estimated that more than 250,000
    wildebeest die during the journey. Other causes of deaths include
    stampede and other predators.

    However, wildebeest deaths during migration are replenished with more
    than 350,000 births per year.

    In view of the above, Tanzania National Parks would like to inform the
    public that the deaths are purely natural and not much could be done to
    prevent. In the National Parks and other protected areas nature is always
    left to take its own course.

    Issued by Corporate Communications Department
    Tanzania National Parks
    29
    th
    September, 2015
    dg@tanzaniaparks.com
    http://www.tanzaniaparks.com

  • TANAPA

    Serengeti Wildebeest Migration is an annual natural phenomenon which takes place between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya where up to two million animals mostly wildebeest and zebra move in a clockwise rotational route determined by the availability of grazing and water.

    During the migration a number of catastrophes occur, including diseases, predation and accidents which put the livelihood of migrating animals at high risk.
    Drowning in Mara River is one of the occurrences during the migration in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and it is estimated that more than 250,000 wildebeest die during the journey. Other causes of deaths include stampede and other predators.

    However, wildebeest deaths during migration are replenished with more than 350,000 births per year.

    In view of the above, Tanzania National Parks would like to inform the public that the deaths are purely natural and not much could be done to prevent. In the National Parks nature is always left to take its own course.

  • Stacy Rachelle Silva Wood’s

    How devastating, doesn’t sound like there could be too many left in the world. How sad.

    • Jimmy

      This is ecology 101. It happens every year. In 2003, 10,000 drowned. It’s nature’s way of course correcting. They give birth to upwards of 350,000 calves annually. On top of that, those that drown are eaten by crocodiles, vultures, lions, etc.

  • Barry

    Surely they all could not have drowned !!

  • James Rockon

    Imagine the number of animals that will benefit from this.

  • Twyla Sappington Lewis

    I am absolutely amazed at the outpouring of concern and sympathy for a species that is just doing what God made them to do. It’s called yearly migration. Now, just for a moment, imagine you are looking at thousands of aborted babies. Would your reaction be the same ? Just something to think about.

  • Kentosh Dicksony

    mankind has nothing to doo when nature taken couse in any habitat. we say let nature take its course ?

  • ntrlhealth
  • jenksd1

    This ain’t nothing!!! Tanzania’s cut off persons with Albinoism and sell it to the black market!!! That place is disgusting!!

  • Tanya Naomi BootElishus Basten

    I feel ashamed to be called a human for what our kind has done

  • Amanda Subalusky

    We have been studying mass drownings of wildebeest during crossings of the Mara River in Kenya since 2011 (http://mara.yale.edu). They are an almost annual occurrence with 3,000-9,000 individuals drowning every year. We also have found studies documenting their historical occurrence in the Mara River and in several lakes in the Serengeti. They appear to be largely natural events, and although sad to witness, they provide an important pulse of resources for the vultures, crocodiles, fish and other components of the river ecosystem. You can read more about other drowning events we have documented on our blog (http://maraadventure.blogspot.com/).

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