A week ago: When the silhouette of Mount Kenya appeared against the soaring flames of extensive wildfires on the mountain it became clear that mother nature was being brought to her knees.
Simultaneously, eight other forests in Kenya were burning ferociously destroying over 70,000 acres of forest, a damage estimated at over $ 4 million. No-one could put a value on the potential loss of some of the world’s most endangered species.
Weeks of hot weather without rain had parched the vegetation, easy food for hungry blazes that were being hurried along by strong winds. In most cases, signs pointed towards illegal charcoal-burners and beekeepers as the cause of the fires.
Unbeknown to us at that time: the moorlands above Kenya’s last indigenous forest would be ablaze for another 6 days before finally burning out. The fires severely threatened the homes of elephants, leopards, antelopes and countless other animals. Many of the mountain’s white zebras were bred and born at our Conservancy and released into the seemingly invincible wilderness.
The combined forces of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Forest Service, local communities and our own team ensured that man and beast on the slopes of Mount Kenya stayed out of harm’s way at all times.
While a truly spectacular sight at night, the fires are a vivid reminder of the volatile nature of Kenya’s most important watersheds. The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy together with our William Holden Education Center aims to prevent this through ongoing education of all the surrounding communities.