Oct 4, 2007

Mass Drowning of Wildebeests

More than 10,000 wildebeests drowned in a bizarre mishap in Kenya's Mara River, last week. As the animals passed through southern Kenya during their annual migration, part of the herd attempted to cross the fast-moving Mara at a "particularly treacherous" point, according to Terilyn Lemaire, a conservation worker with the Nairobi-based Mara Conservancy who witnessed the incident.

The deaths, which occurred over the course of several days, are said to account for about one percent of the total species population. Some 2,000 wildebeest drowned at the crossing in a single afternoon, she estimated.

"It is customary every year for the wildebeest to pick a particularly treacherous crossing point and for there to be a significant die-off," she said, "but the number of deaths during these crossings almost never exceeds one thousand." Link


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