IN OTHER WORDS
To many of us, Sudan means one thing - the ongoing disaster called Darfur. But scientists flying over southern Sudan — the site of a separate civil war that finally ended in 2005 — have discovered vast numbers of migrating animals: herds of antelope and gazelle that may rival the scale of the great migration in Serengeti. Until this recent survey, the fear was that 20 years of fighting had created a collapse of the kind seen in the Central African Republic, where you can fly low over the landscape all day long and see scarcely a single animal. But what they found instead was a river of animals moving through a river of grass, including some species that were thought to be extinct.
This discovery is important, first of all, because it records the unexpected well-being of such vast numbers of animals and of an ecosystem as a whole. But it is also important because it creates the possibility of ecotourism, and a source of employment and wealth to help balance the oil rush that is growing day by day there. The task is to find ways to create,
within a devastated country, the tools and the education to value and protect these wild herds and their ecosystem. It is not a choice between saving people and saving wild animals. It is a matter of protecting the natural resources that allow humans and animals to thrive.