Lumps & Bumps!- Article by Gareth Jones
Lumps & Bumps In The Nairobi National Park
Over some years, I have noted that there seem to be more animals with abnormal growths in the Nairobi National Park than I have seen in other national parks, especially considering that the park is only 117sq km. Some time ago I began to notice a particularly big impala ram with long horns near the main gate. He was quite easy to see, due to a habit of standing next to the tar road and eating the greener grass caused by rainwater running off the road. At first, I noticed that the ram had a small round lump on its back, then over time, the lump began to grow until it was quite large. Eventually, the Impala seemed quite irritated, as he began to rub and scratch against tree branches and rocks until there was a bare hairless patch around the lump.
I wondered what the lump was? Could it be a type of cancer? or an infection? or just a strange growth? All I could do was pray that somehow God would bring healing. Then early one fine morning I notice the ram next to the road, and amazingly the lump was almost gone, reduced to a bumpy hairless patch. Then over a short period of a few weeks, the hair grew back, almost as if there was never a lump on its side. It is always good to see an animal being healed, over time I hope the hair also returns as well. Although I still do not know the actual reason for the abnormal lumpy growth on the side of the impala’s body, I believe it is possible that the large lumpy growth was filled with fluid and somehow lanced open over time to release the fluid. Amazingly this dominant ram also managed to keep his herd during this period.
Impalas are quite common in the park, as well as many other places in Africa. Although abnormal “lumps and bumps” do occur away from cities and human settlements, I did wonder if there could perhaps be a link between the city pollution regarding toxic chemicals, etc? However, the same lump could have been a natural growth from an injury, that filled with fluid? I guess the answer will remain elusive, however, be on the lookout for unusual sightings. The Park can be very rewarding for people who are patient and considerate, even for sightings that involve “lumps & bumps”.