Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Controlling Harmful Parasites in Meru

30 December 2017

Categories: Homepage News, Kenya News

By Moses Nyagah – Scout – nyagah[at]

They are tiny and dangerous, sparing neither the big nor the small in the wilderness. Silently and mercilessly, they bring down other wildlife. They say good things come in small packages. But this is not always the case. We have observed that ticks and tsetse flies usually increase in Meru National Park during the rainy seasons. The recently passed season has been one of the worst in the last few years.  

Having actively participated in various animal monitoring activities, I have observed that these parasites are most attracted by black colour. Animals with dark skin such as the buffaloes are most affected. The KWS Research team uses traps to control tsetse flies which can cause havoc on rhinos. Ticks, though, are a different ball game altogether.  In the past month, buffaloes and zebra have been felled by gall disease after suffering tick bites. One buffalo was lucky to survive the infestation after being treated by the KWS Vet team.

But even in such a scenario, all is not gloomy. Scavengers like hyenas and some birds of prey have had an early Christmas feast! That is the way of the wild.

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