KWS move zebras to Amboseli
Amboseli National Park has been severely suffering during the drought that has affected the whole of the Amboseli ecosystem, including Mbirikani, Eselenkei and Olgulului Group Ranches where the Lion Guardians work. Many hundreds, if not thousands of wild herbivores have been dying and moving away from the area, leaving it severely lacking in prey for lions and hyenas.
The carnivores have been turning to Maasai livestock instead, as their natural prey is so limited. Conflict and tension is high, and the Lion Guardians in the area have been doing all they can to reduce retaliatory attacks from herders against the carnivores. It has been an extremely busy time for the Lion Guardians who are still on high alert.
However, the huge area of Olgulului, south of Ambosli National Park is not covered by the project yet, and tension is extremely high, with lion hunts ever imminent – a worrying situation, which has unfortunately led to a number of lion attacks, and some deaths (see Lion Guardians blog and Maasailand Preservation Trust’s blog).
In order to reduce this, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have started to relocate zebras and wildebeest from Naivasha to Amboseli, to provide some natural prey for the carnivores. We hope that this will indeed help to reduce conflict between predators and people, but we also must start to employ Lion Guardians – members of the Maasai communities to work with their families and friends to protect their livestock better, educate them about the importance of carnivores, and monitor the lions in the area.
Please help us to do this by making a donation to the Lion Guardians project on this blog, or raising awareness about the Lion Guardians by telling your friends and spreading the word!
I had a feeling this would happen.
Will this move stress out the zebra and wildebeest? How do they transport thousands of animals?
At least it will go towards hopefully stopping livestock attacks, I just hope the zebras and wildebeest are ok in the transport and in their new home. It is a shame humans have to reorganise the ecosystem like this but the alternative gives no other choice.
Hi Rebecca. They are moving the herbivores using helicopters and transporting them in trucks. I can imagine it is not a pleasant experience for them, but as you say, what is the other choice? There is a rather sad photo of the zebras being transported in this article: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2010/0210/Why-is-Kenya-moving-7-000-zebras-and-wildebeest
How sad that we have to shuttle animals around like so much cargo like this.
Hi Anthony –
Can you tell us how many zebra got to Amboseli alive in this crazy translocation??
its good that these initiatives are in place its essential that as humans try and make the situation as maliable as possible – with local solutions from kenyans and those in the immediate affected regions. As i was looking for this story i was disappointed to read a related story on CNN.com which lost the chance to educate people on the real situation. the comments on the page are even worse.
All the best with the project.