Monday March 12 11:33 AM ET Deadly Flies Kill Six Lions in Famed Park DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Swarms of vicious bloodsucking flies have killed at least six lions in Tanzania's world famous wildlife park, the Ngorongoro crater, conservation officials said Monday. The lions died after they were repeatedly bitten by flies known as ``stomoxys,'' said Nim Shallua, acting conservationist at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority in northern Tanzania. ``The flies bite the lions and then keep biting their wounds, inflicting a lot of pain and traumatizing them. The lions are dying of trauma,'' Shallua told Reuters. The flies usually appear after extreme changes in weather, Shallua said. The Ngorongoro crater boasts an array of over 20,000 wild animals, including elephants, leopards, buffalo, zebras, warthogs and wildebeests. The fly attacks are the latest in a series of mishaps that have struck the animal population. Since last May, some 323 buffaloes, 193 wildebeest, 69 zebras, three hartebeest and three hippopotami have died of a mysterious disease suspected to be east coast fever. In the same period, another five rhinos died of a disease suspected to be ``babesiosis'' caused by ticks.

source: Reuters (2001) tags: Organization, Teams