Santiyan was a collared elephant that Mara Elephant Project helped monitor for World Wildlife Fund, who supported her original collaring. This elephant, and her large herd, was especially important to monitor and collect data on because of their location in relation to Nairobi. They are currently believed to be the closest herd to the large city, which proves the connectivity of the ecosystem is much larger in terms of how far it stretches to the east than previously assumed.
Santiyan and her herd pictured from the helicopter.
Unfortunately, on December 4, Santiyan dropped her collar. MEP received an immobility alert that luckily was not an injured elephant, but rather a tattered elephant collar that had broken and fallen off. Regrettably, this can happen as MEP’s aerial monitoring flights have been grounded lately because of a lack of funding. The monthly aerial monitoring of all of our elephants is essential for taking note on the condition of the elephant’s collars, but since we weren’t able to do this, Santiyan lost her collar because of its poor condition.
Moving forward with re-collaring Santiyan, MEP was interested in supporting her collaring and monitoring in house so that she was one of MEP’s current 20 collared elephants. So, on December 8, MEP launched an operation to re-collar Santiyan; however, the dry conditions of the Mosiro area where her herd was located created a very tricky collaring situation. We were unable to spot Santiyan, but managed to identify a suitable candidate in her large herd, so, we decided to focus on collaring another female herd member that was easier to dart and collar.
The area of the collaring was very dry, causing a massive dust cloud from the herd’s movements.
We successfully collared another member of Santiyan’s herd and named her Earhart, after the famed aviator Amelia Earhart. If you’re interested in supporting one year of Earhart’s elephant collar, deployment, monitoring both on the ground and in the air and data download fees for $7,200, please contact Claire Bolles.
MEP rangers taking measurements on MEP’s newest collared elephant, Earhart.