In this week’s news wrap we have an anthrax outbreak in northeast Namibia where hippos and buffaloes are dying; NGO African Parks expands its conservation management in Chad; the world’s donkey population is in crisis due to China’s increased demands; and two elephants die – one from a suspected lightning strike, and the other shot by Kenyan authorities.
Hippos and buffaloes die from anthrax outbreak (full story: Ministry of Environment and Tourism Namibia)
It has been confirmed by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism that the hippos and buffaloes that have died in the Kavango East Region, in the Bwabwata National Park, are as result of anthrax. Over 100 hippos and 20 buffalo carcasses have been recorded, and authorities are hard at work to find solutions to prevent further deaths.
Tourists concerned over the safety of visiting the park have been assured by the ministry who say that there is no health hazard to people, and have said that the area in which the deaths are taking place is not accessible to tourists.
Chad Expands Conservation Area Under New Agreement (full story: African Parks)
The Government of the Republic of Chad has signed a new agreement with the conservation NGO, African Parks. The agreement is for the NGO to expand its management and protection of conservation areas in Chad, with Zakouma National Park at the centre. African Parks manages protected areas on behalf of governments across Africa, and has been managing Zakouma since 2010.
The signing of an agreement for the management of the Greater Zakouma Functional Ecosystem is a significant step in securing migration corridors and vital range habitats. The Ambassador of the European Union in Chad, Madame Denisa-Elena Ionete, was quoted saying: “The Chad-EU cooperation has enabled the success of Zakouma National Park, and the extension of a conservation management mandate for African Parks will increase its footprint over a larger area.”
Why are donkeys facing their ‘biggest ever crisis’? (full story: BBC)
The huge demand for donkey skins in China is leading to a crisis in the world’s donkey populations, where the number of donkeys in the country have dropped, forcing suppliers to look elsewhere in the world.
Donkey skins are used in China to make health foods and traditional medicine, and the supply and demand from the Asian country is putting strain on the donkeys in Africa, where they form an important part of life for transport and farming.
Giant Kenyan elephant killed by authorities on suspicion of killing farmer (full story: The Amboseli Trust for Elephants)
“A tragedy occurred in Amboseli yesterday morning. One of the last big elephant bulls in Africa was shot and killed by the authorities because it was suspected he had killed a farmer. That bull was 49-year-old Little Male, the brother of Eudora and the son of Emily, who was the sister of Echo of the EB family. We have known him since he was five years old, so we have followed his life for 44 years. We watched him grow, become independent from his family, learn the ways of the world of the males, eventually coming into musth and competing for females. He was in his prime, fathering calves, passing on his good genes for robustness, good health and longevity.
“That important role he was playing in the Amboseli elephant population ended yesterday. It is times like these that we are tempted to give up but we don’t. It hurts so much, but we have to fight for the other elephants here including Little Male’s sons and daughters. But we must not forget the death of the farmer. It is a massive tragedy for his family. It is not a question of guilt and innocence here. We must strive for peaceful co-existence between humans and wildlife.”
Kruger elephant killed by lightning (full story: AG News Desk)
Tourists early to hit the roads outside Satara rest camp in the Kruger this morning were greeted by the rather macabre scene of a large elephant carcass in the road. The elephant was lying in a large pool of its own blood and with some of its internal organs hanging out.
The guesswork as to the cause of death ranged from a muti-killing (for traditional medicine purposes) after observers thought (mistakenly) that the elephant’s genitals had been removed, to ivory poachers that were disturbed before they could remove the tusks, and to this being the work of predators such as lions.
After further investigation, it was found that the elephant died from a lightning strike.
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