Climate change has killed more elephants than poachers: Kenyan government
The toll of climate change is being extracted on the Elephant population of Kenya. Reportedly, the Kenyan government has termed climate change as a bigger threat to the population of the 'gentle giants' than poaching.
Kenya's Tsavo National Park, one of the largest parks in the world has recorded the death of 179 elephants in the last eight months alone.
"We had nine elephants poached in the last eight months and 179 elephants dying because of drought. That is a huge number. The time is ripe to discuss climate change," Najib Balala, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Tourism told local media.
Kenya adopts a strategy
Balala further stated that his government had taken note of the impact of climate change and developed National Wildlife Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2022-203 to address the threats.
The destruction of forests and the natural habitat zones of Elephants are contributing to the changing weather patterns. In an African country like Kenya, the prolonged hot weather due to climate change means that most water bodies run out of water.
Over the past decade, Kenya has experienced some of the most severe drought conditions in the last 40 years. According to recent statistics, the population of elephants in Kenya stands at 36,000 which is a considerable improvement from 1989 when numbers stood at 16,000. However, the imminent threat of climate change threatens to undo all the good work.
Sustainable financial funding needed
The Kenyan minister also asserted that financial funding for such conservation programmes was also needed. Instead of relying on donors, African nations need to strive for financial sustainability.
Moreover, in addition to climate change, it is the human-animal conflict regarding the sharing of space that is posing a big challenge to the conservation of elephants.
It's not the first time that elephants have died of starvation in an African nation. In 2019, 600 elephants were relocated due to acute starvation caused by drought in Zimbabwe. The relocation process was only prompted when 200 elephants had already died.
Climate change is real and those objecting to it are merely trying to conjure an alternate reality in their heads.