Great trek to Somalia
A 30-year-old Kenyan bull elephant named Morgan marched for hundreds of kilometres and crossed into Somalia, becoming the first to be spotted in the war-torn country in 20 years. The elephant had been fitted with a tracking collar. The elephant started its journey from Tana River Delta and reached the Somalia border nearly three weeks later. Conservationists said it showed that the elephant remembered ancient routes after decades of absence due to war.
“He obviously had something in his mind about where he was going,” said Dr Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants. Morgan’s journey suggests that the Kenya-Somalia border area is becoming safer for wildlife. If security returns to southern Somalia, so might the exiled elephants.
Rhino poaching crisis
The number of African rhinos killed by poachers has increased for the sixth year in a row with at least 1338 rhinos killed by poachers across Africa in 2015, according to new data compiled by the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG). This is the highest level since the current crisis began to emerge in 2008. Since then poachers have killed at least 5940 African rhinos. Increased law enforcement effort and expenditure in recent years have coincided with a slowing down in the rate of increase of poaching continentally from 2013 to 2015.
Over the last two years, poaching has declined in Kenya and, for the first time since 2008, the number of rhinos poached in South Africa fell slightly last year (including in Kruger NP).
Jade Sea Festival
The untamed, arid wilds of northern Kenya recently hosted the Marsabit Lake Turkana Cultural Festival and Half Marathon. The annual festival brought together 14 previously warring communities. The area boasts of major attractions, including the Chalbi Desert and the Ksh17 billion Lake Turkana Wind Power Project. Lake Turkana is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. The lake, which is Africa’s fourth largest, is fondly called the Jade Sea because of its breathtaking colour.