A herd of white-eared kob antelope run along the Kangen River in Southern Sudan
's Boma National Park.
The photograph was taken as part of the first aerial surveys of the newly autonomous region in 25 years (see a map of Sudan
The 58,000-square-mile (150,000-square-kilometer) series of surveys reveals that wildlife, including at least 800,000 kob, have endured despite a ruinous civil war.
"Seeing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of white-eared kob
streaming under the aircraft, day after day, was like I had died and was
having the most unbelievable dream you could ever have," said J. Michael
Fay, a Wildlife Conservation Society biologist and National Geographic
explorer-in-residence who helped lead the survey. (National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.)
The survey team also found beisa oryxes, which some Sudanese officials said were extinct in the area, and 4,000 Nile lechwe, a type of antelope thought to have been nearly wiped out. The survey also reported 250,000 Mongalla gazelles, 160,000 tiang, 13,000 reedbuck, and 2,800 ostriches
The kob migration in southern Sudan is believed to be one of the largest on the planet, rivaling those of the wildebeest in the Serengeti and the Mongolian gazelle in China
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Photograph by Paul Elkan and J. Michael Fay, ) 2007 National Geographic/Wildlife Conservation Society