Wildlife recovers after dry spell

Parks and Wildlife Authority Public relations manager Retired Major Edward Mbewe said the rains are encouraging and the Hwange national park in particular received more rains than what it usually receives. “This means an improvement in terms of vegetation and water for the wildlife as well.” Hwange national park carries an estimated 70 000 elephants and other species. The park requires 1200 cubic metres of water daily for the wildlife in the park and it has received good rains this year. In the past years elephants were dying from lack of food and water, they were also destroying property and killing people in other places because they would be foraging for food. Elephants consume an average 30 to 50 gallons of water per day and they are destructive eaters as they uproot and scatter as much as would be eaten. “The jumbos were scattered all over the national park foraging for food and destroying the vegitation as well but this time we believe the animals are safe as they have enough vegetation and water.” “The elephants are now moving from low lying areas to high firm ground because they don’t like muddy places so during this time people would hardly see the jumbos as they would be in hiding”, added Mbewe. The immune system of wildlife is also expected to be improving now that there has been heavy rains. Animals usually contract diseases from the grass. Mbewe said in terms of hunting trophies this year the country will have better trophies as Zimbabwe’s animals are now in good shape. Zimbabwe has received more than 400mm of rainfall throughout this rain season with most of the dams in the country 100 percent full after the country experienced a dry spell for the past 2-3years.. Namibia’s Caprivi region also reported that a considerable number of the jumbos were perishing due to thirst and hunger. The Zambezi River water level had declined and young elephants in particular were being trapped in the mud since the beginning of October last year.

March 2006
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