Immigration of Serengeti wildebeest changes

2013-11-28 22:18
Wildebeest migration (File)

Wildebeest migration (File)

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Nairobi - The migration of wildebeest between Tanzania and Kenya has been reversed because of drought in the Serengeti National Park, wildlife officials said on Thursday.

The wildebeest normally wander from the Serengeti in Tanzania into Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve from July to October after seasonal rains. They then head back.

However, the lack of rain and fresh grass in Tanzania this year has caused the wildebeest to return to or stay in Kenya. They were not expected to return until April.

"Definitely, it is abnormal," said Nicholas Murero, coordinator of the Narok County Wildlife Forum, which helps manage the Maasai Mara. "I'm worried maybe the same migration will not happen next year."

The Maasai Mara's head wildlife manager, James Sindiyo, said the wildebeest could soon deplete the park's resources as Kenya enters its dry season.

There is concern the search for food could place the animals on a path towards conflict with cattle ranchers.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world flock to Kenya and Tanzania every year to see the animals cross the crocodile-filled Mara River, which separates the two East African countries.

Read more on:    kenya  |  tanzania  |  east africa  |  animals

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