The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Muddy Rivers Trap and Suffocate Wild Animals to Death

Wildlife species in Manyara are facing new type of danger, muddy grounds that swallow them to their deaths.

As large wells and rivers turn into muddy swamps, wild animals attempting to salvage drinks from drying water sources are being trapped in quagmire, some suffocating to death in parts of Babati District of Manyara Region.

Hundreds of animals are reported to be dying at alarming rate within the Mswakini and Kwakuchinja wildlife corridors as effects of drought take toll in Northern parts of Tanzania.

While some animals succumb to weather effects, many others get trapped in muddy rivers and lakes where they meet their end.

Authorities reveal that there have been efforts to pull some of the trapped animals from the quagmires so as to save their lives.

Most animals wade into the muddy depth moving towards where little water can be found, but once in the middle of the swamps it gets difficult to get back onto dry land.

Caught in natural trap, this animal is already hurt from attacks by carnivores taking advantage of the dire situation

Ungulates like Zebras, Wildebeests and even gazelles, once sucked in the quagmire attract other species, especially carnivores.

These follow the trapped animals for what seems like easy kill, without realizing they are also walking into their own death traps.

Death in the Savannah

On the other hand, the vast landscape encompassing the Burunge Wildlife Management Area which lies between Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks is also dotted with carcasses of animals decimated by drought.

The EBN Safaris, operating within Burunge, is currently trying to rescue the situation by digging up wells and pumping fresh water into those that are drying up, in order to save wildlife.

When EBN took over the Hunting Block, the company transformed it into a photographic safari entity bringing to an end to game tracking and hunting.

As the result, the wildlife population in the precinct has more than doubled.

The EBN spokesperson, Charles Sylvester admits the drought situation is currently bad to both wildlife and livestock in nearby villages. To offset the effects, they are now drilling wells as well as pumping water for the animals.

“The hot weather spell is killing both the kept livestock and free roaming wildlife,” the Burunge WMA Secretary, Benson Mwaise also confirms.

Made up of ten villages, the Burunge WMA which is a community-based conservation entity, occupies 24,319 square kilometers of land.

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