Mara Elephant Project’s August and September report recorded a drop (3) in elephant deaths since last month (5), which is always good news; however, the increase in conflict outside of conservancies is upsetting. MEP and Kenya Wildlife Service combined their elephant mortality records for September bringing the total to 31 elephant carcasses. Several of MEP’s collared elephants moved outside of the conservancies in August and September, and we are hoping with the increased amount of rain in the Mara, they will head back to safer land.
We are pleased to announce that MEP and KWS have formed a new mobile human-elephant conflict unit in Olosukut Conservancy. The team will cover the river border to the Kaboson Community Center. MEP’s Board of Trustees met in September and is completing a good governance review. MEP also hosted the USAID’s PREPARED Project team at HQ in September to discuss the WILD app’s use at MEP.
Other good news in August and September is that we were able to arrest two members of an ivory poaching gang who we have been tracking for some time. They have been suspected of killing five elephants in the area since January. This important arrest then led us to another gang in Loita that had 10 kilograms of bush meat. We were also able to recover their firearms.
HEC is on the rise during this reporting period with 13 instances when MEP responded to HEC or injured elephants due to HEC. The helicopter has done 50% of these responses; it remains MEP’s most effective tool to move elephants out of dangerous areas. Please consider a donation to keep MEP’s helicopter flying.
This month’s reporting also includes 8 additional collared elephants in the Mara ecosystem that MEP is tracking along with the 11 currently deployed and monitored by MEP.
We are delighted to welcome Victoria Fanthorpe to the MEP team as the new Development Director. Read about Victoria HERE.
Finally, MEP has some very exciting news. Field Administrator Wilson Sairowua has become a first-time Dad with the birth of his daughter, Sandra. Both baby and Mom are doing well and Wilson is enjoying his paternity leave. Congratulations Wilson!