Kenya's wildlife census takes off - A2

Counting wild animals in Kenya - 3rd September 2021

In Kenya, they are counting all the animals. It's a census. They fly over national parks and protected areas. This census gives important information.

In every country, animals are dying. Human activity is dangerous for them. In Kenya, it is the same. But, we can learn about the animals and protect them.

Robert Obrein works for the Kenya Wildlife Service. He says the government wants to know all about the wild animals.

Robert Obrein: "We have always concentrated doing our things {the census} on protected areas, but for the first time, we're even going beyond protected areas because the national government wants to know where the wildlife is."

They don't only count the number of animals. From the aeroplane they can see the animals' homes. They know where the animals eat, drink and sleep. They can see when animals are near people's homes. When people are near wild animals, there are problems. Wild animals killed nearly 500 people in three years.

Julius Cheptai explains.

Julius Cheptai: "We will also be able to address the issues to do with the human-wildlife conflict, in terms of population of those animals that are prone to human wildlife conflict."

Robert Obrein is worried about the future. He's worried about people living near wild animals.

Robert Obrein: "That means we are encroaching on wildlife places. That means eventually another 10 years, we might not be having wildlife outside protected areas."

Robert Obrein: "I'm really afraid that in the near future, we might be fencing off protected areas to keep wildlife safe."

The information from the census can help people and animals to be safe.