The storks have been busy at Kenya’s Amboseli National Park where an elephant baby boom is being celebrated.
Around 1,500 elephants live in the huge reservation, nestled along the border of Kenya and Tanzania.
The National Park has seen a record number of more than 200 elephants born already this year… and they are hoping for more!
“It seems baby elephants are falling out of the sky,” Cynthia Moss, of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, said. “Every time our team goes out they find new calves.”
The highest births in a year of more recent times was 201 in 2012, this has already been beaten!
“December is usually a high birth month, so we’ll expect more,” says Founder of Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Cynthia Moss.
So whats changed?
Experts believe it’s the change in the weather, there have been more severe drought cycles, which are followed by intense rainy seasons. Elephant fertility increases after heavy rains.
Since elephant pregnancies last around 22 months and 2018/19 was very wet, this makes sense.
This isn’t the only good news for elephants of Kenya as the whole country’s population of elephants has doubled in the last 30 years.
Although the pandemic has brought about new dangers for these creatures, at least the ivory trade has halted.
Back in Amboseli, Moss says one of the biggest threats to the calves now is another drought. “If say the rains fail right now, a lot of these calves will die. I do not know how many, but possibly half could die,” she says.
The rainy season is due to begin in March and it’s still uncertain what the forecast will be for 2021.