Who Shares the Lake?
by Tish Farrell
Imagine you're a fish eagle soaring over the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Africa. What do you see? There are many lakes in the valley below, but the water in most of them is too salty to drink. You know one lake that has good, fresh water—Lake Naivasha. Other animals know Lake Naivasha, too. Fresh water is important to everyone in this dry part of Africa.
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The lake looks quiet now, but giraffes and zebras, antelope and buffalo, and sometimes even leopards, come to drink the water.
Birds visit the lake to find fish to eat. Eagles spot fish from the air and dive down to catch them. The long-legged Goliath heron stays close to shore, wading in shallow water to find its lunch.
Cormorants can just hop out of their nests to go fishing. A tree grew when part of the lake dried up. Years later, heavy rains filled the lake again and surrounded the tree with water.
Hippos wallow all day in the lake to keep cool. At night they eat grass along the shore.
People come to the lake to fish, too. As they spread their nets in the shallow water, they must take care not to disturb the hippos.
Farmers use the water from Lake Naivasha to grow vegetables and flowers. They send roses and carnations to markets around the world. It's another way to share the beauty of the lake.
- A lake is not a wetland nor an ocean. A lake is a body of fresh water. There might be streams flowing into or out of a lake. What kind of animals live in and around Lake Naivasha?
[anno: The animals that live in and around Lake Naivasha are eagles, giraffes, zebras, antelope, buffalo, leopards, Goliath herons, cormorants, hippos, and fish.]
- The lake is home for many animals. People use it, too. What do people get from the lake? What do people do with the things they get from the lake?
[anno: People get fish for food from the lake. They get water for farming vegetables and flowers.]
- Why is Lake Naivasha an important place for many animals and people?
[anno: It is important because it supplies many animals and people with food and water. It provides some animals with a home.]