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Tragedy as more than 300 wildebeests drown in the Mara

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Over 300 wildebeests drowned after a suspected stampede on Sunday afternoon as they crossed the Mara River in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

Their bloated, rotting carcasses now litter the river, filling the air of Kenya’s most famous game park with the sickly stench of death.

Conservationists in the reserve described the deaths near the Lookout area as tragic, saying they believe the animals simply picked the wrong point to cross the river that is now swollen with water.

Maasai Mara Deputy Chief game warden Eddy Nkoitoi believes the stampede occurred because the number of wildebeest was quite high, and the pressure was strong from the back while those in front kept dropping down blocking the way.

“So all the wildebeests that came from the back stepped on the first ones down and so on, hundreds died, giving hundreds of crocodiles and vultures more than they can chew,” said Mr Nkoitoi.

The Nation found Mr Nkoitoi leading a team of game rangers to rescue some of the wildebeests that later attempted to cross but got stuck in trenches.

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Maasai Mara rangers rescuing a wildebeest calf that survived a drowning incident on Sunday afternoon. George Sayagie | Nation Media Group

Did not stand a chance

Some of the animals on the upper level were still alive and tried to get out, fighting for their lives, but in the end none of them stood a chance.

READ ALSO:   Concern as rivers in the Mara drying up

Mr Nkoitoi said that so far, more than 10,000 are estimated to have died since the beginning of the migration in May from different causes including predators, natural reasons, accidents and stampedes.

“I have lived in the Mara for the past ten years and this is by far the worst I have ever seen. It is very distressing for people who have been working to prevent poaching to see such large numbers of animals wiped out in a matter of days,” he added.

Cyrus Thiongo, a local tourist from Nairobi who witnessed the tragic incident, also confirms that the animals chose a bad point of crossing.

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George Sayagie | Nation Media Group

The wildebeest migration was named among the seven natural wonders of the world. It happens every year as several animals gather at the river’s banks before plunging into the water to cross over in search of pasture.

Each year hundreds die in the stampede. Some simply drown in the swirling waters while others are snatched by crocodiles; but it is rare for such a big number to die in a single day.

An award-winning photographer, Antony Ole Tira, said hundreds of tourists atop open roofed offroad vehicles could only stand by and watch the events unfold.

READ ALSO:   Concern as rivers in the Mara drying up

He noted that at one point the game wardens considered blocking the lethal crossing point, but later realised that they could not interfere.

Currently, migratng wildebeests are headed northwards towards River Talek where they graze and mate every year.

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Tourists flock the Maasai Mara Game Reserve to witness the wildebeest migration on August 8, 2020. George Sayagie | Nation Media Group

The yearly cycle begins in the south of Serengeti, where half a million calves are born between January and March. But when the rains end in May, the land dries fast and the grazers must move on, heading for their dry season refuge in the Mara.

The migration takes place across 150,000 square miles of woodland, hills and open plains that form the wilderness across the two reserves.

From July to October, the peak tourist season when visitors flock to the Mara to watch the dramatic crossings, the wildebeests meander between the western and eastern sides of the river, crossing it at different points almost daily.

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Lifestyle

Couple’s pain after woman offers to hold baby, then disappears without a trace

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A couple’s five-month-old baby boy is missing after a woman who visited them in Utawala offered to hold him to allow his mother time to finish washing her clothes on Wednesday afternoon.

At the time, baby Harold Ochieng was crying and his mother, 24-year-old Pauline Ilenje, who had strapped her baby to her back, needed time to finish with her laundry.

“She requested to hold him until I was done with cleaning and I agreed,” said Ochieng’s mother.

Unbeknown to her, the intention of the woman, only identified as Aisha, was not good. Pauline unstrapped her child and handed him over to the woman without any qualms. Aisha is said to have been visiting the couple’s neighbour that day.

After finishing her laundry, Pauline realised that the woman who had offered to hold her baby had vanished.

What followed later were hours of panic and a painful search for her baby as the reality that her child had been stolen started hitting home.

Shocked at the turn of events, Pauline made frantic calls to her husband David Ochieng (43), a casual labourer, but she could not reach him.

“I then rushed to Utawala police post to file a report where the officers told me to look for my neighbour and report back to the station with him,” she said.

READ ALSO:   Concern as rivers in the Mara drying up

At around 1pm, her husband called her and informed her that he would join her in the search but, before getting home, he called their neighbour asking for the whereabouts of his visitor.

At around 4pm, the neighbour returned and left in a rush but the couple caught up with him and reported back to Utawala police post for questioning.

She came and left quickly

“Officers at the station then asked us to search for Aisha, whose house we traced to Githunguri in Kiambu County. However, we did not find her there. The door was open but no one was inside. Neighbours told us they spotted her come and leave with a baby and a bag,” Pauline’s husband says.

The couple then returned to Utawala to update the police on their findings, but they were referred to Ruai police station where they were asked to continue with the baby’s search until yesterday afternoon.

“We wondered how we could continue with the search even past curfew hours but we did it anyway without a police escort,” said the baby’s father.

The couple decided to return to Githunguri where they were hopeful that they might find the woman at her house.

Unfortunately, the woman had not returned. Instead, they found a young girl identified as Diana who confirmed that the woman lives there but was not in.

READ ALSO:   Concern as rivers in the Mara drying up

Yesterday, the couple returned to Ruai police station where they recorded a statement and shared their child’s image for circulation.

“The officers informed us that they are tracking the woman’s phone to establish her whereabouts,” Pauline told the Nation.

Police also questioned the couple’s neighbour and the girl who was found at the woman’s house in Githunguri.

“Our neighbour now claims that the woman was his laundry person and not the girlfriend,” she said.

Officers at Ruai police station declined to comment on the matter.

by Nationafrica

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Business

VIDEO: Bonus Value Add for Garden of Joy customers

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Finally, it’s all joy for those who bought the Garden of Joy (GOJ). Optiven has pulled a positive surprise by kicking off the installation of hundreds of green solar lights along all the estate roads. The launch happened today when the GOJ was declared a green project.

The engineer installing this green energy friendly street lights lauded Optiven for being an Eco-friendly organization and openly subscribing to suitable development goals no 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and no 7 ( Affordable and clean energy)

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=355584738838377&ref=watch_permalink

Among the guests who attended this event was Justina Syokao of the popular 2020 hit song.

The installation was packed with joy as the Garden of Joy joined other Optiven projects that have already gone green.

We urged all our customers to join the green movement by building houses that have natural light, use water recycling technologies such as bio digester, trees planting and managing waste.

This project is now ready for occupation and customers have already started building fast and furious

The plots are on offer at 1.295M up to the 30th October. The offer will be 1.495 from 1st of Nov

Secure your property today with only 200k and enjoy a 12 months installment plan

READ ALSO:   Concern as rivers in the Mara drying up

If you want to join this green project, get in touch with us Today:
Phone: 0790 300 300 | 0723 400 500
Visit our Website for more details: www.optiven.co.ke

https://www.facebook.com/georgeoptiven/videos/355584738838377/
We were live at Garden of Joy.

Kindly click the link, share and let’s create engagement as we talk about how we can participate in the Green Agenda. #GardenOfJOYgoesGREEN
#OptivenGoesGreen

 

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Entertainment

Grace Ekirapa: I’ve been unable to access DJ Mo since cheating scandal

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Grace Ekirapa, who hosts NTV’s gospel show Crossover 101, has revealed that she had not been in touch with her co-host DJ Mo since rumors he was cheating on his wife Size 8 rocked the internet a fortnight ago.

Ever since reports emerged that DJ Mo, real name Sammy Muraya, was cheating on his wife of seven years Size 8 causing a social media frenzy, the DJ was barred from co-hosting the show with Ekirapa and is thought to be busy trying to glue his marriage together.

Weighing in on the scandal rocking the marriage of her co-host, Ekirapa revealed that she had been trying unsuccessfully to reach out to DJ Mo.

“I haven’t spoken to him and to be honest. It’s been hard for me to get to him. My phone calls haven’t been going through, I know it’s been difficult for him and I think when he is ready he will talk to me. Meanwhile the show has been going on without him but that’s the management’s decision.” Ekirapa revealed during an Interview with Radio Jambo.

She, however, felt DJ Mo should be given a second chance.

“What I will have to say is, when you get saved you won’t stop sinning, you can’t be perfect but there will be consequences. We make mistakes. DJ Mo is an amazing guy and if there’s a chance of working with him again, I would love that.” She added.

READ ALSO:   Concern as rivers in the Mara drying up

The singer also delved into the rumors that once emerged that she was having an affair with DJ Mo, a married man.

“During the launch of Crossover is when the rumor started. We had done a couple of photo shoots on different days and most of the time his hands was on my shoulder or mine on his and so people got talking.” she explained.

by NN

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