MEP Helicopter Remains Key to Partnerships

Mara Elephant Project operates the only helicopter dedicated to wildlife in the Mara thanks to the support of Karen Blixen Camp Trust and Ree Park Safari. When any of our partners operating in the Mara ecosystem need aerial assistance with wildlife, MEP is their first call.


This was the case on February 1, when MEP received a call from rangers operating in the Olarro Conservancy that had been tracking a wounded elephant that appeared to have bullet wounds in his side. They knew that Dr. Limo from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Kenya Wildlife Service Mara Mobile Vet Unit needed to come and assess the elephants wounds and quickly. MEP provided aerial support for Dr. Limo (pictured right) so that he could easily dart and treat this wounded elephant.

A photo of the wounded elephant from the MEP helicopter. 

The benefits of having access to the helicopter has not only directly helped MEP, but many other organizations in the Mara as well. Having the only helicopter in the Mara dedicated to wildlife has allowed us to create more partnerships within the Mara. Another great benefit for the Mara is that MEP is able to quickly and effectively respond to a wounded elephant.

The vet approaching the wounded elephant as the dart takes effect.

Unfortunately for this bull elephant, the wounds were just too severe, and during treatment this elephant died as a result. The fortunate side to this is that we were able to collect the tusks and turn them over to Kenya Wildlife Service so that they did not end up in the wrong hands.

Rangers and the vet alike trying to save this elephant’s life.

Operations like this one, though not the outcome we wanted, are why partnerships in the Mara are so vital to the protection of elephants and the conservation of the Mara ecosystem. It takes a village, as they say, to ensure these essential creatures are protected. So, when you support MEP’s helicopter, you’re really supporting the welfare and continued conservation of the Mara and every organization that strives to protect it’s precious people, wildlife and ecosystem.