Samburu National Reserve Special Five

Samburu National Reserve special five are animals unique to this conservation area. They are way cooler than the big five. And a special gem for the North.

Samburu National reserve is located in the north side of Kenya. It’s in the Samburu county and managed by the county government. Elsa the lioness was raised in this reserve by George and Joy Adamson. You can read more about their journey in the book “Born Free”.

Its one of the famous reserves that found their way into conservationist heart and success stories. Having Uaso Nyiro River cut across it, a huge wildlife population found their way into this park. The reserve is found within a savanna grassland area which experiences seasonal droughts once in a while. The area can be really dry but the river refuges in such times.

Samburu community surrounds the park. They have been able to positively deal with the frequent human-wildlife conflicts. As we all know most of the Kenyan wildlife live outside the protected areas. Nature conservancy and conservation bodies have made this possible. They have provided knowledge and alternatives to promote  humans and wildlife relations. The locals are now actively protecting the wildlife from the bad guys, poachers.

Samburu can be very hot during the day but the nights are cool. The locals are friendly and easy to mingle with. They are generous enough to teach and allow you enjoy some of their cultural events. They will teach you how to jump very high, apply your hair the red soil if you allow them, give you their delicious meals, among others. If you would like to enjoy all these, park your things and head there.

Back to our special five. These wildlife are rare and unique to this reserve hence the name.

They include:

  1. Reticulated giraffe
  2. Gerenuk
  3. Grevy zebra
  4. Oryx
  5. Somali Ostrich

    Reticulated giraffe

    Reticulated giraffe

    The giraffes with a coat that has a pattern of sharp edges that allows very thin lines in between them. It’s like lines made using a ruler. You can read more about them here.

    They are widely distributed in the northern Kenya, Samburu national reserve. Hence easily spotted during your game drive.

    Gerenuk

    Female Gerenuk

    Read the full article here.

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Giraffe : The Tallest Animal In The World

Giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. Their legs alone are taller than most of us. They are amazing animals. And when you across the ones in Kenya. To be specific, in Giraffe  Center. You will definitely get a kiss from them. This is after you feed them some carrots.

They belong to the family Giraffidae and happen to be the largest ruminants. They are mainly found in woodlands and Savannah. They are native to Africa.

They are found in Savannah

Being ruminants, they feed on woody plants. That is their leaves, fruits and flowers. They mainly feed on the acacia trees.They are browsers and get an opportunity to feed on the plant parts that can not be accessed by other browsers due to height.

They are social animals

Giraffes are social animals and live in herds. The herds may include bachelor males or related females with offspring.

Each female herd has a dominant male. Who is responsible of raising the off springs. The male has to fight his way to the dominance status. The fighting is known as “‘necking”.

Giraffes have strong and very long necks. During the “necking” the weak giraffe gets injured pretty hard. The fight only ends once one of the giraffe concedes. The defeated giraffe end up alone as he can’t go back to the other males. He is a loser.

The defeated giraffe are the best target for their predators. Since they are already hurt and weak. And no brothers around to boast his protection. Their predators include wild dogs, lions, spotted hyenas as well as leopards.

Giraffe are not easy prey to hunt. This is because of the dreadful kicks that can send the predator t instant death. They are also very strong but not very fast. The predators work in groups to hunt them.

Species and sub-species of giraffes are as follows:

Southern giraffe (Giraffa giraffe)

• Angolan giraffe (G. g. angolensis)
• South African giraffe (G. g. giraffa )

Northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis )

• Nubian giraffe (G. c. camelopardalis )
• Kordofan giraffe (G. c. antiquorum )

West African giraffe (G. c. peralta)

Reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata)

Maasai giraffe (Giraffa tippelskirchi)

In Kenya we are lucky to have two species and one sub-species of giraffe. Namely:

Get the full article here.

Conservation Education and Awareness

Should conservation education and awareness be included in the syllabus? Personally, I think it should be included. I remember doing a  short survey on the same. It was a survey carried out by an environment organization. Am yet to know what transpired after we gave our thoughts.

At what point were you exposed to the conservation education? How was it done? Did you get an opportunity to understand its importance. Or was done just as a by the way.

As much I grew up loving nature and animals to be specific. It was a passion nurtured by the animals I was exposed to. My dad loves animals and he did much of my introduction to this animal world. I always accompanied him. My free time was dedicated to animals.

I guess this contributed to my few friends while growing up. I always find comfort spending time with animals. I still do. They have an effect on my moods and motivation. I could be having a terrible day but a five minutes with animals, fixed everything. At least that’s how I feel.

It was in high school that I really got an exposure to wildlife and nature. This was through Wildlife Club that I was lucky to chair for two years. We didn’t have much activities as I wanted. We mainly planted trees and kept rabbits at some point. Materials were limited and this was a major limitation.

Most of the students joined the club for wrong reasons. They thought it was a ticket to filed trips. Hence the meaning of the club was never fully enjoyed. Our club matron did her best to give us the best. But I hope we could have done much.

Importance of conservation education and awareness

  1. It will help shape the young generation to the right direction in issues regarding nature.

Read the full article here.

If You Can’t Reuse It, Refuse It (One Use Plastics)

Yes, we have all agreed that if you can’t reuse it.,refuse it. Saying NO to one use plastics. As we mark World environment Day, the theme is to beat plastic pollution. We are to work together in ensuring that we avoid use of one time use plastics.

This year’s World environment day was celebrated by more people. It seems that conservation education and awareness is finally get home. More people are aware of the need to stop pollution.

Governments, organizations and individuals were able to mark this important day. The message was similar across board.Beating plastic pollution.

Most countries including Kenya have ban the use of one time use plastics. This was a great progress towards a plastic free universe. More laws are being made to regulate plastic use.

Banning of one use plastic bags is just the beginning. We should be able to find alternatives for other plastics too. This includes the straws, utensils, among others. None of the plastics decompose, hence end up harming the environment.

Oceans are the most affected in this fight.

Oceans are where plastics find their way into, once discarded. Tonnes of plastics have been retrieved from these water bodies during clean-ups. As the rivers and other water bodies fed the ocean with water. They do carry plastics with them.

Plastics are light hence floats on water bodies and easily carried away by waves. They end up causing more harm to the marine life.

These effects include:

  • Preventing oxygen from penetrating into the ocean. As they form a layer on the top of the water. No air is allowed to penetrate through.
  • Prevents light. Plants growing at the surface of these water bodies need light. Photosynthesis becomes impossible. Plants end up dead.
  • Marine  animals do confuse plastic for food. They end up feeding on these plastics. Plastics are indigestible. And with time, these animals end up dead.
  • Plastic do produce harmful toxins. The toxins causes serious illness to both marine life and humans.
  • They cause suffocation.
  • They tangle marine life.

Just to name a few.

Say No To One Use Plastics

For plastics to disappear, we have to act as a universe.They are many ways you can be able to contribute to a plastic free universe. These includes:

Read the full article here.

There’s Hope For The Northern White Rhino

There’s hope for northern white rhino . This is after a southern white rhino named Victoria conceived via artificial insemination. This is great news to all of us. Especially after we all sadly admitted that we failed Sudan (The last Northern White Rhino).

Sudan was made to rest on 19th of March this year. This was after battling age related complications. He left behind a daughter and a grand-daughter. Who unfortunately have complications in conceiving.
This fact has been a major blow to this sub-species. But thanks to the amazing scientists. They have been working tirelessly to finds ways to save this subspecies. And the fruits of their hard work is evident.

Northern White Rhinos are almost extinct.

So what do we know about Victoria?

She is seven years old and belongs to the southern white rhino sub-species. She was one of the six rhinos picked for testing. She was able to make a good surrogate.

Researchers from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park did confirm that Victoria successful conceived after the artificial insemination. She is our new queen and hope for our almost extinct northern white rhino.Victoria will be closely monitored throughout her pregnancy.

Scientist are the verge of saving this subspecies.

Did scientists keep their word?

Read the full article here.

Importance of Kakamega Tropical Rain Forest

Kakamega Forest is a tropical rain-forest. Its located in Kakamega, Kenya. It’s believed to be the last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rain-forest.

This forest is found with the Kakamega National Reserve. Half of its trees are indigenous. The reserve has promoted its conservation. It has helped it against deforestation and illegal logging. But still needs help from the few cases.

Rain forest are considered to be the lungs of our planet. This is because they are responsible for the oxygen we breathe in. They are mainly located within the equator.

Goodness in a rain forest

Importance of a tropical rain forest

Read the full article here.

Ethical Treatment of Animals

Just like humans, animals too do have rights. These rights allow them enjoy ethical treatment. They are to be treated with respect and not subjected to suffering.

Genesis of animals rights was faced with difficulties and negative critics. Many opposing in the basis that animals have no duties. Hence no worthy of having their own rights.

After several arguments and theories. It was agreed that animals should have rights but remained inferior to human status. This gave birth to animal rights movements.

Animal rights ensures that they are treated with certain considerations. This frees them from the acts of humans as their superior. Humans are to respect and observe these rights irregardless of their needs.

It’s important to understand that animals have the ability to suffer just like humans. Their emotions are closely related to those of humans. After all,in living things classification, we both belong to kingdom Animalia.

With that in mind, it your duty to take into account your actions that interfere with their needs. Just like you won’t allow anyone step on your rights. You shouldn’t overlook those of animals.

Does Kenya have laws that protect animals?

Yes we do.

It is well elaborated under CAP 360 and 364 of Kenyan constitution.

CAP. 360 : Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

This act involves the personnel, means of transport and manner at which animals are handled to while being transported.

If the animal is caused suffering in any way, the involved party will be subjected to a fine/imprisonment or both.

CAP. 364 : Animal Diseases

This acts regulates activities involved during animal importation and movements, infected areas, prevention of diseases’ spread and tests on animals .

Do we really need to be policed so as to protect animals?

Read the full article here.