PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Losses of 2009

PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Losses of 2009
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Drought-Stricken Kenya Loses Out on Rain, Again

Tens of elephants and hundreds of other animals have perished so far amid the worst drought to hit Kenya in more than a decade, conservationists announced this past summer. The so-called long rains, which usually bring relief to the region in March and April, never arrived this year, extending the drought into its third year for parts of the East African country.

Why the drought is occurring is unknown. Some people blame global climate change. Others say it's due to long-term weather cycles.

Whatever the cause, the drought has driven cattle herders to illegally bring their animals deep into Kenya's parks and reserves in search of water, where they outcompete wildlife for a drink. "It's really been a body blow to our animals," Paul Udoto, a spokesperson for the Kenya Wildlife Service, told National Geographic News.
—Photograph by Sayyid Azim, AP
 
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