Drought is killing Kenya’s endangered wildlife

The carcass of an endangered Grevy's Zebra, which died during the drought, is seen in the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Isiolo county, Kenya, September 22, 2022. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Kenya’s worst drought in four decades has killed almost 2 percent of the world’s rarest zebra in three months, and 25 times more elephants than normal over the same period, Reuters reported.

The carcass of an endangered Grevy’s Zebra, which died during the drought, is seen in the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Isiolo county, Kenya, September 22, 2022. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

“It’s a serious threat to us,” said Andrew Letura, a monitoring officer at Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT).

Letura said drought has killed about 40 Grevy’s since June – which is how many would be expected to die over a whole year.

Without interventions to protect wildlife, or if the approaching rainy season fails again, animals in many parts of the East African country could face an existential crisis, Reuters quoted conservationists as saying.

Grevy’s zebra, which are larger than a standard plains zebra and have narrower stripes and wider ears, are the rarest in the species: there are 3,000 left in the world, 2,500 of which are in Kenya.

Kenya has lost over a million livestock to drought in the past months, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) said in April this year.

Kenya is among the countries in the Horn of Africa that is enduring the worst drought in decades.