THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION
|Image Source: Go2Africa|
The Maasai Mara is well known to many as a destination of choice especially to both high end and low end tourists traveling to Africa during their vacations. To many this paradise of a jungle is only a known recreation to the mighty and wealthy but its story underlies within its inhabitants.
The Mara consists of a game reserve whereby the vast terrain is pampered with a carpet of natural grass cut through by the waters of the Mara River. Each year over 2 million wild animals mainly grazers consisting of the wildebeest [majority], are accompanied by a herd of zebras and the skinny gazelles to embark on a treacherous journey to migrate the hilly plains of the savannah.
Normally, they cross the Mara River towards the Serengeti in Tanzania from Kenya and the cycle is repeated once a year for the rest of their lives. Due to this phenomenon, scientist have failed to unearth the motive of these animals but on the contrary give a shallow picture of what the truth is hence the wildebeest migration is now regarded as a “Wonder Of The World”.
The migration is never tranquil as it sounds, routinely; these herds encounter the fierce of them all; the lion, where they all fall prey to or even the fast pacing Ferrari of the jungle; the leopard. Past them, the journey seems sweet for a while however another nightmare always lies ahead of them.
Upon reaching the Mara River: where the toughest of all fears lie, shivers are sent trickling down the spine to these unhumly animals who always end up serving as dinner to the carnivorous. You may as well note that the gestation period of these animals is between 90-300 days and that ought to give you the picture that to some the journey to no where is new hence when the ruler of the rivers [Crocodiles] shows up for lunch, many of them encounter a predator never familiar to their face.
With its ferocious and powerful jaws pooled with excellent hunting skills; and wooden log like floating on water camouflage characteristics, it attacks at super sonic speeds. The croc lays an ambush then fires itself from the waters lay its teeth on the unaware herds. The results are always catastrophic.
Many of the animals end up their journey here; in the bellies of half tone flesh ripping crocodiles of the Mara River. It’s also saddening as most of them end up dying since the stampede caused by the blood thirsty reptiles, send them tumbling and stamping on each other scattering for safety.
Many of them walk out of the river with mild wounds and end up dying on the shores of the river all this being witnessed by monkeys. It always seems to be a free “Horror Movie” to them.
This great spectacle never goes past by the eyes of camera lenses as it always draws journalists including the Big Cat Diaries of the BBC each to have their own side of the story.
As the sun heads west, life must continue and as they say it: in the jungle “It’s Survival For The Fittest”. All in search of green pastures and fresh water as climatical changes have influenced the migration of these animals as they relentlessly fight for survival.