Killed by drought: The deadly toll on Kenyan giraffes captured in devastating photo

A prolonged drought in the country’s north east has caused food and water shortages

Grace Almond
Monday 13 December 2021 17:02

It is a devastating image which shows the deadly impact of Kenya’s drought on the giraffe population.

The photo shows six giraffes lying lifeless in the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy in Wajir.

The animals reportedly died after getting stuck in mud as they tried to drink from a nearby reservoir, which had almost dried up. The giraffes were weak from starvation and lack of water caused by a severe drought.

The giraffes were initially moved to Sabuli, in Kenya’s north east, to prevent contamination of the reservoir water. A prolonged drought in the region has caused food and water shortages, as a result of receiving less than a third of normal rainfall since September.

According to Kenyan newspaper The Star, 4,000 giraffes in nearby Garissa county risk being wiped out by an intense drought sweeping across the region.

Wild animals have suffered the worst, according to experts. Ibrahim Ali, from the Bour-Algi giraffe sanctuary, said the drought has worsened the situation for many animals.

“Domesticated animals were being assisted but not wildlife, and now they are suffering,” he said.

In November, Wildlife Principal Secretary Fred Segor told the newspaper that the worst-affected areas in Northern Kenya would be given priority by deploying water bowsers to assist the wildlife.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a national disaster in September. It is estimated that more than two million Kenyans face starvation due to the drought, which is impacting half the country.

Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority has said that many parts of the country were in “urgent need” of food aid.

In recent years, the affected areas have been hit by locusts, flash floods and conflict. The problems have also been compounded by the Coronavirus pandemic, which has left many vulnerable people in the region unable to secure work.

The image of the dead giraffes was shot by Ed Ram for Getty Images.

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