Nakuru is the provincial capital of Kenya's Rift Valley province, and is the fourth largest urban centre in the country. Lake Nakuru is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes, with an elevation of 1754 meters above sea level. This lake was renowned for its abundance of algae, which would attract the vast quantity of flamingos, often famously photographed lined on the shore. In 2013, the lake received an alarming increase in water levels, leading to the migration of large portions of the flamingos flocks to Lake Bogoria, where food supply more easily met the demand. Other birdlife also flourish in the Lake Nakuru area, as do warthogs, baboons and other large mammals. Also of interest is an area of 188 km around the lake, which is fenced off and dedicated as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffes, black rhinos and white rhinos. The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide this sanctuary to the black rhino population. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park marches for 12.1 km on the south eastern boundary with the Soysambu conservancy which represents a possible future expansion of habitat for the rhinos and the only remaining wildlife corridor to Lake Naivasha. The sanctuary is also home to a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again relocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Rothschild's giraffe is one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies, with only a few hundred members in the wild. Among the predators in the area are lion, cheetah and leopard, the latter being seen much more frequently in recent times. The park also has large sized pythons that inhabit the dense woodlands, and can often be seen crossing the roads or dangling from trees.
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