Photo Gallery: Surprising Herds Discovered in Southern Sudan

Picture of Sudan antelope
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June 12, 2007—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. (Read the full story and watch video of the animals.)

"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.

Nicholas Wadhams

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