Heartbreaking picture shows family of six giraffes lying dead

Heartbreaking picture shows family of six giraffes lying dead after getting stuck in mud in Kenya as experts warn drought could kill 4,000 of the animals

  • Pictures of the animals lying together were taken on Friday in Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy in Wajir, Kenya
  • The region has suffered a devastating drought, receiving less than a third of its usual rainfall in September
  • This has had a devastating impact of wildlife in particular, leaving them hungry and unable to access water
  • It is believed the giraffes got stuck in the mud when they tried to drink from a reservoir, which had dried up 
  • WARNING: Contains graphic images

This heartbreaking photograph shows a family of six giraffes lying dead after they got stuck in the mud in Kenya, as experts warn the drought being experienced by the African country could kill 4,000 of the animals.

Pictures of the animals lying together lifeless on the dry, orange earth were taken on Friday in the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy in Wajir. It is believed they got stuck in the mud when they attempted to drink from a nearby reservoir, which had almost dried up.

The corpses of the animals – classified as a vulnerable species – are seen lying on their sides sprawled out across the earth. One of the animal’s long necks stretches backwards, its head resting on another giraffe.

This heartbreaking photograph shows a family of six giraffes lying dead after they got stuck in the mud in Kenya, as experts warn the drought being experienced by the African country could kill 4,000 of the animals

The giraffes, weak from lack of food and water, died after they got stuck in mud as they tired to drink from a nearly dried up reservoir nearby. The corpses of the animals – classified as a vulnerable species – are seen lying on their sides sprawled out across the earth. One of the animal’s long necks stretches backwards, its head resting on another giraffe

A giraffe lies dead in the road on December 9, 2021 in Wajir County, Kenya. A prolonged drought in the country’s north east has created food and water shortages, pushing pastoralist communities and their livestock to the brink

It is clear from the photo taken – from above the scene – that the giraffes died some time ago, their bodies showing signs of decomposition. They were moved to the location in Sabuli, in Kenya’s north east, to prevent contamination to the reservoir water.

The giraffes were already weak from starvation and from a lack of drinking water caused by the severe drought in the region, which received less than a third of its usual rainfall in September.

Food and water shortages as a result of the lack of rain have affected animals and people alike, with Kenyan newspaper The Star reporting that 4,000 giraffes in the nearby Garissa county risk death as a result.

According to experts, wild animals have suffered the worst from the devastating drought. Ibrahim Ali, a worker at the Bour-Algi giraffe sanctuary, said the drought has made the situation worse for many animals.

‘Domesticated animals were being assisted but not wildlife, and now they are suffering,’ he told The Star, saying that farming along the rivers was blocking animals – such as giraffes – from being able to get to the water to drink.

He said that there is an urgent need to open areas up so that wildlife could access more water.

According to the first ever national wildlife census, released in August, Kenya has a total giraffe population of 34,240, made up of three species of the animal. These include the Maasai giraffe, reticulated giraffe and the Nubian giraffe. Giarffes are classified as a vulnerable species. 

The drought was declared a national disaster by Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta in September. It is estimated that more than two million Kenyans risk starvation because the drought, that is affecting half the country.

It is clear from the photo taken from above that the giraffes died some time ago, their bodies showing signs of decomposition. They were moved to the location in Sabuli, in Kenya’s north east, to prevent contamination to the reservoir water 

In this aerial view, a giraffe lies dead in the road near Matanaha village on December 9, 2021 in Wajir County, Kenya

Assistant chief of Eyrib village, Abdi Karim, looks at the bodies of six giraffes that lie on the outskirts of Eyrib village in Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy on December 10, 2021 in Wajir County, Kenya

Many parts of Kenya are in ‘urgent need’ of food aid, Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority has said.

Kenya and other parts of East Africa have battled some of the worst locust plagues in decades this year, with the insects destroying crops and grazing grounds. Scientists say that unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change created ideal conditions for insects to thrive.

Experts warn that such climate shocks will become more common across Africa, which contributes the least to global warming, but will suffer from it most.

‘We do not have a spare planet in which we will seek refuge once we have succeeded in destroying this one,’ the executive director of East Africa´s Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Workneh Gebeyehu, said last month while opening a regional early warning climate centre in Kenya´s capital, Nairobi.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed.

‘Africa, while currently responsible for a negligible amount of total global greenhouse gas emissions, is under significant threat from climate change,’ he said at the center´s opening. The continent is responsible for just 4% of global emissions.

Kenyatta was among the African leaders speaking at the global climate summit as they urged more attention and billions of dollars in financial support for the Africa.

Rangers from the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy supply water from a tanker for wild animals in the conservancy in Wajir County, Kenya Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021

Herders supply water from a borehole to give to their camels near Kuruti, in Garissa County, Kenya Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. As world leaders addressed a global climate summit in Britain, drought descended yet again in northern Kenya, the latest in a series of climate shocks rippling through the Horn of Africa

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