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.

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.

Source: The Nation

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