In Kenya, drought has become an even bigger threat to elephants than poaching .
The dry conditions have been so devastating that the outlet reports that nearly 180 elephants have died in the country this past year from drought. In comparison, less than 10 have been poached. Elephants can go through dozens of gallons of water per day — and more when it gets warm out, a 2020 study found. The study estimated that elephants would need to drink every two or three days to avoid “critical water loss” in hotter weather.
Parts of Kenya are currently experiencing extreme drought. The drought, which is also hitting parts of Ethiopia and Somalia, has affected 15 million people. Three million livestock have died as many areas face the threat of malnutrition. Footage from the BBC taken in December 2021 showed dead giraffes and dead cattle, while wildlife like warthogs and doves clustered around livestock watering holes.
This new report highlights the growing risk to wildlife from the climate crisis. As the climate crisis accelerates, droughts will generally get both drier and more common.