Nairobi — Wildlife of high tourism value were rescued and fed when the country was experiencing extreme drought last year.
According to Kenya Wildlife Services managing director, Mr Julius Kipng’etich, this was done to protect the animals.
“The famine we experienced was historical and we had to rescue some of the animals from this calamity. However, we only rescued and fed those with high tourism value,” he said.
Kenya experienced a record drought and famine that affected both human and wildlife across the country. The situation led to at least 10 million Kenyans falling into dire need of food supply and death of thousands of animals.
The animal situation posed a risk to the country’s tourism industry that is famed for its wildlife.
The most affected parks and reserves were the Amboseli National Park and Tsavo National Park that recorded the highest number of collected animal carcasses. It is estimated that the parks lost 40 per cent of animals
“For almost three months we bought hey and fed the animals,” explained the managing director. This cost the service about Sh5 million.
According to some industry players, hoteliers within and along the national parks too resorted to the feeding programme. This was to keep the animals alive and maintain the tourist attractions for business sake. Others dug boreholes to provide watering holes for the animals.
However, with the onset of the rains, it is projected the animals will have plenty to feed on and avert further crisis.
Mr Kipng’etich was speaking to journalists in Nairobi on Monday, while announcing the results of an anti-poaching operation held last week.