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The Big Dry:

These Luangwa Herbivores Compete for the Same Grassy Plains

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»The Drought Begins

These Luangwa Herbivores Compete for the Same Grassy Plains

Short | 02:37

The grass of the Luangwa Valley is an open buffet for a wide array of local herbivores: from puku and impala, to baboons, who use their dexterous fingers to pick stems and pull out rhizomes.

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The dry season has just begun in one of Africa's great ecosystems. Due to El Nino conditions, the drought will be more intense than usual. As temperatures soar, each day gets harder to survive. Creatures large and small must battle for precious resources. For some animals, like the world's largest population of hippos, drought is an existential threat. But for those ready to exploit it, like the vultures and storks that feast on the carcasses of animals that couldn't survive, the dry season provides an unexpected bounty.

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