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Over 500 vultures die in Botswana after eating elephant carcasses1 minute read

Most of the birds, 468 of them, were white-backed vultures, which are classified as critically endangered species.

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More than 500 endangered vultures died of poisoning after eating the carcasses of three elephants killed by poachers in Botswana, the government said in a statement.

A total of 537 vultures, along with two tawny eagles, were found dead at the site in the north of the African country.

The Botswanan wildlife and national parks department did not say when the dead vultures had been found or why the three elephants were laced with poison after being killed.

But poachers are known to poison carcasses to target vultures as the birds circle in the sky and help rangers to track poaching activity.

Most of the birds, 468 of them, were white-backed vultures, which are classified as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list of threatened species.

Also among the dead were 17 white-headed vultures and 28 hooded vultures — also critically endangered.

“The poisoning was believed to have been caused by lacing of three poached elephant carcasses with a poisonous chemical,” the wildlife department said.

Teams decontaminated the area and samples were taken for laboratory analysis.

Conservationists last week warned of surging elephant poaching in parts of Botswana and estimated nearly 400 were killed for their ivory tusks in 2017 and 2018.

The country recently sparked controversy by lifting its ban on hunting, saying it would help control a booming elephant population that was damaging farmers’ livelihoods.

In 2016, two lions and over 100 vultures in South Africa’s Kruger National Park died after eating a poisoned elephant carcass.

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Body recovered after vehicle plunges into Indian Ocean

Police and family members have identified the sole occupant of the vehicle as John Mutinda, 46

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The body of a man and his vehicle have been recovered from the Likoni channel, Kenya, following an accident where his car plunged into the ocean at 4:20 am local time on Saturday morning. Police and family members have identified the sole occupant of the vehicle as John Mutinda, 46.

According to a statement issued Bakari Gowa, the Managing Director of the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS), the driver attempted to avoid the toll station and drove into the loading area from the wrong side of the road. Attempts to were made by ferry staff to stop him but he proceeded to drive at top speed off the ramp and into the ocean.

Multi-agency rescue efforts by the Kenya Coast Guard, the Kenya Ferry Services, the Kenya Navy and the Police were launched immediately. The body of the deceased was subsequently recovered at 9:30 am on Saturday morning and transported to the Coast General Hospital Mortuary by police. Retrieval efforts continued thereafter, resulting in the retrieval of the vehicle from the channel at 12:00 pm.

The accident comes barely three months after a woman and child tragically drowned in a separate accident when their vehicle reversed while on a ferry and sank into the channel mid-transit.

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Lifestyle News

Tropical cyclone Pawan makes landfall in Nugaal, Somalia

The storm hit the coastal city of Eyl in the Nugaal region, bringing with it heavy rainfall and turbulent winds.

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Tropical cyclone Pawan has made landfall on Saturday morning, affecting the northeastern part of Somalia as predicted earlier in the week.

The storm hit the coastal city of Eyl in the Nugaal region, bringing with it heavy rainfall and turbulent winds. The town has borne the brunt of the storm, with locals reporting of fishermen’s boats capsizing off the coast and a cell tower belonging to Golis Telecom falling and causing damage to adjacent buildings.

A forecast issued by the Somali Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) on Tuesday warned of heavy rainfall and strong winds over the north and central parts of the Horn of Africa country over the course of the next few days.

Elsewhere in Puntland state, the regional government delayed all flights leaving Garowe airport as a result of heavy rains and floods, by-products of the cyclone. There have also been local reports of 2 vehicles being swept away near Bossasso.

The storm is expected to decline in intensity as it moves inland.

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East Africa News

Egerton University shuts down following student protests

Main campus in Njoro, as well as the Nakuru town campus, were subsequently closed indefinitely

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Egerton University Shuts down Following Student Protests
Egerton University Library. Photo: Egerton University Website

The students of the Njoro main campus of Egerton University, an institution based in Nakuru County, Kenya, went on a rampage on Wednesday morning in protest of a decision by the administration to bar any students with fees arrears from sitting for the exams scheduled to commence on Thursday.

According to student leaders, over 5000 students were at risk of getting their studies deferred to the next academic year starting September 2020 for failure to pay the requisite fees before the set deadline.

The statement announcing indefinite shutdown signed by Egerton University’s acting registrar.

The protesting students engaged riot police in running battles who lobbed teargas in an attempt to disperse the crowd who are alleged to have destroyed campus property. The students accused the police of firing live rounds: Several students collected shell casings on the campus grounds, alleged to have been fired by the police sent to quell the protests.

The main campus in Njoro, as well as the Nakuru town campus, were subsequently closed indefinitely and students ordered to vacate the premises by 2:30 pm on Wednesday.

These protests and campus closure follow that of other public universities (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Maseno University and Kenyatta University) over similar issues in the last few months.

The university administration did not respond to requests for comment at the time of going to print.

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