WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A vast herd of buffaloes grazing in Namibia were chased by lions towards the river where the animals panicked and drowned.
- Carcasses of the dead animals were harvested by residents of the nearby community for food.
- Cloudy conditions and a very high riverbank which the animals failed to climb may have contributed to the mass drowning.
In a last-ditch attempt to escape a pride of lions, hundreds of buffaloes stampeded into the Chobe River in southern Africa and drowned.
In a statement by Botswana’s Ministry of Environment released on Wednesday, Botswana/Namibia Border officials reported that prior to the drowning, a very large herd of buffaloes were grazing in Namibia before lions started chasing them.
The Ministry also added that dozens of buffalo carcasses that were floating in the river have been removed mostly by community members living along the river in Namibia.
A video of the dead buffaloes was also posted by Serondela Lodge owner Simone Micheletti whose local lodge is located on the Namibian side of the river. Posted on his Facebook page, it said that around 1,000 buffaloes were chased by lions towards the Chobe River. It appeared that the animals got stuck because the riverbank was too high for them to scale, so a stampede ensued.
“They drowned after who knows how long and through how much panic, stress and pain,” said Micheletti.
Although mass drownings are not unusual in the Chobe River, the herd was unusually large, noticed Micheletti. He told BBC that prior to this week’s incident, the largest mass drowning ever reported before were about 50 buffaloes. He also said lions were heard roaring on Tuesday night which was a cloudy night. He suspects that the buffaloes may not have been able to see because of the clouds that blocked the moonlight.
Opened in March 2018, the Lodge faces the Chobe National Park which is located on the other side of the Chobe River. According to the Lodge’s website, the area is a major tourist attraction famous for its vast numbers of animals including elephants, giraffes, sables, and buffaloes, as well as a place where lions hunt their prey.
Source: Fox News