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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > October-December 2018 (84) > Breaking it down

Breaking it down

When an animal dies in the bush, nature swings into action

On safari, most of us love the drama of the hunt. But when it comes to the aftermath, we tend to look away. The animals responsible for this process, from hyena to maggots, tend to elicit the same response.

And yet these animals play a critical role in the ecosystem. By breaking down dead material, they return nutrients to the soil and allow the cycle of energy to continue. Without their natural waste-disposal system, the natural environment would be a giant land fill site of corpses, wafting diseases to the finds, while the soil would gradually become leached of its life supporting minerals.

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