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Rhino News : Zambia Distributes Food to Starving
Zambia Distributes Food to Starving Wildlife
||Fri Oct 18,11:00 AM ET
Science - Reuters
LUSAKA (Reuters) - Southern Africa's food crisis has affected animals as
well as people, prompting Zambia to start distributing food to the country's
starving wildlife, a conservation official said Friday.
Food shortages caused by poor weather and made worse by political
problems in southern Africa are threatening not only 14 million people in
the region but also thousands of wild animals, the Zambia Wildlife
Authority's director-general, Hapenga Kabeta, told Reuters.
Hunger was weakening such tourist favorites as elephants and white
rhinos, he said, and had already killed 43 game animals.
Feeding animals outside fenced parks is difficult because of their mobility,
he said, but his agency is trying to help them in the Mosi-O-Tunya national
park near Livingstone, about 250 miles south of the capital Lusaka.
"The food supplements include hay, molasses, maize husks and lucerne,
and we have also provided veterinary services to the animals to remove
ticks and other diseases," he said.
Animals are also running out of water, so the authorities are pumping
supplies to the park from the nearby Zambezi river.
In southern Zambia, the worst affected part of the country, animals are
competing for water and wild fruits with some of the three million people
living there, he said. The country's total human population is about 11
Kabeta said his agency would also relocate half of some species to other
protected but less threatened areas.
Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland are also facing
severe food shortages.