A lack of affordable inner national park housing is forcing an increasing majority of Africa’s wild animals into long commutes to and from work.
“I have to get up before six and take a two hour long train ride just to get to the waterhole on time each morning,” said Stripey, a zebra who works in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. “I’m able to catch up on my reading and get all my paperwork done but it means I don’t really see the foals till the weekend.”
Even some apex predators have started complaining about the gentrification of the national park centres.
“When we first moved into this park it had a broad mix of prey species,” said Audrey, a hyena from the inner Okavango National Park in Botswana. “Now you’d be lucky to see a gazelle or a warthog around here after dark, especially one who isn’t lame or old. It kind of defeats the purpose of living here.”
“The trendy animals like cheetahs and rhinos have snapped up the prime real estate while us grunt guys who do all the unglamorous stuff like getting eaten by crocodiles have been priced right out of the market,” said Gavin, a wildebeest currently working two jobs in different national parks to pay off his mortgage. “It really annoys me having to ride the bus every day past a new development with an advertising sign that says ‘If your herd lived on this plain you’d be home already’.”
Author: Peter Green