The pattern is all too familiar. A burst of gunshots at dusk and a scramble into action by anti-poaching forces to reach the site, on the border of Buffalo Springs National Reserve in Northern Kenya. This time the network was fast and KWS and community rangers reached the elephant before the poachers could take his blood-stained ivory. Our team identified him as a fine 25 year-old male called Koitalel. The loss came at a time when we were cautiously hoping that things were getting better. Across the conservancies of the Northern Rangelands Trust, half as many elephants were killed in 2013 as were lost to poachers in the previous year.
Yao Ming, ex-NBA basketballer and China’s biggest star, has been a tireless campaigner for elephants ever since visiting STE in Samburu with WildAid. In early March he presented the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference with a petition asking China’s government to ban sales of ivory. Numerous members of China’s business elite were among the signatories, all of them urging their nation to take the leap of leadership necessary to save Africa’s elephants on behalf of the world. Two weeks later, Hong Kong’s largest ivory retailer announcedthat it has stopped selling ivory in response to public opinion against the trade.
When Robert Mwehe finished an internship with STE he set up a successful enterprise to support women who’d lost their crops to elephants. Robert has now won a full scholarship to do a Masters at Yale, and is only a few thousand dollars short of meeting his living expenses for the year. Can you help?
Last month the initial survey of the new Pan-African Census was flown over Tsavo in Kenya by Elephants Without Borders. The count was done using a different technique than that used in February, allowing more light to be shed on the true status of one of Africa’s most important populations. For the results, read on…
The Emerging Wildlife Leaders Course in the US helped Jerenimo Leperei become STE’s first Community Outreach officer. His campaign to use ex-poachers to turn criminals into conservationists has achieved great success. Now he’s back to the US to learn more… and to see snow for the first time!
Our Mission: To secure a future for elephants and sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live, to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.
ATCNews : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome is the publisher of ATCNews, Eastern Africa’s leading aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 45 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.