• Short Summary

    About this time each year one of nature's remaining mass migration of huge herds of wild animals takes place.

  • Description

    About this time each year one of nature's remaining mass migration of huge herds of wild animals takes place. It happens in East Africa. The movement starts in the Serengeti park region of northern Tanzania and the herds migrate across the border into neighbouring Kenya. The spectacular scene usually takes place in June or July. One animal species, the wildebeest, forms the largest part of the annual trek. They move in columns, many miles long, from the short-grass plains of Tanzania and gradually disperse throughout the bush country to the north and west, where there is permanent water. They stay for five months, before the coming of the "short" rains signals their return back to the Serengeti for the birth of their calves.

    SYNOPSIS: Visitors to Kenya's Keekorak Game lodge were able to see hundreds of thousands of wildebeest congregating after their arrival in the last few weeks. Estimates put this year's wildebeest migration at two million animals.

    They share the grazing with many other species of plains game, like these antelope. The ??? zebra, a favourite target of poaching also got caught up in the movement. The problem of poaching is being controlled by laws banning the trade of animal skins, but the demand for the hides or rare animals makes protection difficult.

    One of the prime targets of poachers is to elephant. Dr. Iaian Douglas-Hamilton, a British elephant expert has said that 100,000 to 400,000 are lost annually to ivory poachers alone in Africa. But there are still some large elephant herds and the American Wildlife Service classify them as a threatened, rather than endangered species. The mingle with ??? and wildebeest along the migratory route looking for more fertile areas to feed on.

    Both the migration and the concentrations of game attract predators and the area becomes a focal point for lion prides.

    In this pride there were two females and this male, trying to stay out of the blistering noon-day sun. This lioness brought down a wildebeest. She must have been very hungry, because hunting is normally done in the early morning or late afternoon. She hunted mid-day and found easy hunting in the densely populated area.

    This year it appears that the crossing of the wildebeest from Tanzania to Kenya will take place over a number of weeks and be most plentiful at the end of July. The migration has been called one of the most impressive animal sights on earth.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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