Kegol is one of Mara Elephant Project’s larger male elephants that we have collared and monitored. He’s around 50 years old and was collared in conjunction with our partners, Save the Elephants, in March of 2015.
Kegol generally stays in the Mara North Conservancy, which helps us ensure his safety, but occasionally he’ll cross great distances like he did last month into Tanzania and spend some time in the Serengeti National Park. This is why Kegol is a good candidate for collaring, he’s a large male with big tusks, which attracts poachers, but he also roams independently and is known to leave the safety of the conservancy. Male elephants travel great lengths for food, water and breeding, which can put them in harm’s way. This is why our collars and near real-time tracking are so essential to an elephant’s well being.
Geo-fencing is an important tool MEP uses to establish zones that are not safe for elephants. If Kegol crosses into an un-safe zone to crop raid, for example, MEP receives an alert to let us know he’s in danger of human-elephant conflict.
When we receive this alert we can deploy the Karen Blixen Camp Robinson R44 Helicopter to push Kegol out of harm’s way or deploy one of our Rapid Response Units to ensure Kegol’s safety.
Kegol’s vast movements also help MEP inform land-use planning around the Mara. They are able to see where he travels and what corridors he uses between the conservancies and even countries. We hope this data over time can lead to established “elephant highways” that can ensure their safe passage between protected lands.
Kegol is our Field Administrator Wilson Sairowua’s favorite elephant to track because he is so large and gentle even sometimes stopping by MEP Headquarters to check things out.
Kegol and other large males like him are essential to ensuring the elephant population’s well being in the Mara. Please help MEP keep Kegol alive and thriving by donating.