Researchers counting cost of drought on wildlife at Kruger National Park


South African researchers and scientists at the Kruger National Park are still counting the cost of the harsh drought in the park last year.

The researchers say that the drought had both good and bad effects on the animal and plant species in the park.

Kruger has survived drought before. This time around however, it is unclear how long it will take before the full effect of the 2016 drought is known.

The park experienced very high temperatures and low rainfall.

In the Skukuza section of the park for instance, the year 2016 was the first time rainfall records hit a low of less than 200mm and 39 days experienced temperatures above 40-degrees Centigrade.

Heavy rains however finally poures in December, giving the Kruger a lush green look again.

Very many animals died during the drought period with as many as 3,000 hippos believed to have perished in that time span.

The experts say while the Kruger National Park is green again and the animals are no longer dying of thirst or hunger, the legacy effects of the drought are likely to be felt for years to come.