Kenya conservation news update – The upside and downside of fencing elephants in


It was learned, courtesy of Melissa Groo of Save the Elephant News, that another fence is being planned to keep elephant out of farms and ‘shambas’ and to protect the ever growing population around forests, parks, reserves and conservancies. The Marmanet forest has been targeted for this exercise but it was not certain if provisions have been made or will be made to ensure ongoing migration of elephant along the Northern migration corridor, of key importance to keep the gene pool varied and allow an ‘escape’ when drought and other natural calamities strike, denying the jumbos their regular food sources. It is understood that some of the elephant under observation had already been moved to this location by KWS in the past, demonstration the fast shrinking habitat for free roaming elephant.

In a related development it was also learned that as a result of the ongoing drought in parts of Kenya the wildlife service was forced to purchase hundreds of thousands of litres of water to sustain a herd of elephant in coast province, where water holes were said to have dried up or been turned into mud wallows. Here the contradiction comes to light to the earlier part of the story as the forest in question has also been fenced off to protect neighbouring farms but also denying the elephant to move to a nearby river in their search of water, as they have been ‘cut off’ from their age long migration patterns.

No easy answers here sadly, but do watch this space for future updates.