Despite the tumultuous state of the world in the past seven months, it has been a good year so far for Kenya’s elephant population, which has been experiencing a celebratory baby boom in one of the country’s wildlife reserves.
Since the start of the pandemic earlier this year, Amboseli National Park, renowned for its stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, has seen a record 140 newborn pachyderms welcomed into the world, with twin baby elephants among them.
In a statement, Winnie Kiiru from the Elephant Protection Initiative said the high numbers can be attributed to the lack of tourist interruptions and abundant rains that have left rich vegetation, which serves as food for the grey giants.
The mass birth announcement comes as World Elephant Day is celebrated on August 12. “Greetings from Amboseli Kenya,” read the statement. “It has been a difficult year for all of us but there is still much to celebrate. Here in Amboseli, elephants are thriving. 140 beautiful calves have been born in 2020 and more are expected.”
Amidst the good news, conservationists are also bringing attention to the challenges brought on by the pandemic on local communities and are calling on African governments to help repair the damage done to conservation by the pandemic.