One of the most crucial tools in MEP’s HEC Toolkit is the use of a Robinson R44 helicopter. Thanks to the generous support of our partner Karen Blixen Camp, we are able to deploy the helicopter on a number of missions that can protect human and elephant lives in conflict situations.
What’s the nuisance? Well, elephants. Many locals have acres of farmland that can all be wiped out by a herd of elephants in one night’s time. Retaliation from farmers over crop raiding elephants creates a dangerous environment for both elephants and people alike; they both feel threatened and ready to fight to feed their families. In February alone MEP found six dead elephants that had been poisoned, including one of our collared elephants, Lina.
These deaths are preventable. Case and point, on May 6 MEP got a call from Narok Senior Warden Collins Omondi telling us that a herd of elephants were raiding crops in the Ewaso Ngiro area of Kenya. Even though this is outside our current elephant rangeland patrol area, we responded.
The helicopter, flown by MEP CEO Marc Goss was able to successfully push the elephants into Olaro Conservancy ensuring their safety.
While we can’t stop all human-elephant conflict in Narok County, we have many tools at our disposal to reduce them from happening and our helicopter plays a crucial role in that goal.