This selfless animal lover delivers thousands of litres of water to the thirsty animals who live on the parched lands of the Tsavo West National Park in Kenya.
Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua is probably the most popular guy in this drought-ridden region, certainly among the animal kingdom.
The pea farmer, who was born and raised in the area, has witnessed the ravaging of his home’s natural habitat and the wildlife who live alongside him, so decided to wade in and do something for fear ‘they will die’ if he doesn’t help them.
When he’s not farming peas, he fills his specialised agriculture trucks with water and drives thousands of miles across the dry land to replenish the dry watering holes.
According to The Dodo, Patrick has been completing this arduous task since 2017, when he told the animal-loving news outlet ‘there is completely no water so the animals are depending on humans’.
Patrick used to bring the animals 3,000 gallons of water four times a week to ensure they have enough to drink – or they would dehydrate to the point of death.
But the situation is only worsening. In recent times he and his friend Nina Poletti, from Canada, are having to bring even more water to the parched animals – sometimes having to make daily visits.
Patrick explained why he started a sustainable water foundation to help, adding:
We aren’t really receiving rain the way we used to. From last June, there was no rain completely. So, I started giving animals water because I thought, ‘If I don’t do that, they will die’.
I was born around here and grew up with wildlife and got a lot of passion about wildlife. I decided to bring awareness to this so when they grow up they can protect their wildlife.
But he doesn’t just feed them; Patrick also cleans the watering holes and drenches the hard ground so buffalo and other animals can roll in the mud; a behavior key to them staying clean and free from dangerous ticks.
Patrick loves helping out in his spare time and says the animals have become accustomed to his visits.
Some of them even come to his truck to greet him, and await their sweet, life-giving water.
Patrick recalled one instance where he found ‘500 buffalo waiting at the water hole’ when he arrived, saying they were so keen for a drink they ‘could smell the water’ and quickly approached the truck.
They started drinking water while I was standing there. They get so excited.
Patrick is working towards sustainable water solutions for human and wildlife communities in Tsavo, Kenya, through the Mwalua Wildlife Trust, which you can help out here.
If you have a story you want to tell, share it with UNILAD via [email protected]