Today, someone posted on their social media feed a video falsely claiming to show Mara Elephant Project using the helicopter to separate a baby elephant from its mother. The video in question was actually taken by a ranger at the scene of an incident on July 4, 2018 where the Karen Blixen Camp Ree Park Safari helicopter was used to transport a baby elephant rescued from the Mara to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust orphanage in Nairobi. The baby needed immediate transport because it was very young and unfortunately, the mother had just passed of natural causes, MIKE file number 28/18, in Olkinyei Conservancy.
“At approximately 1 p.m. on July 4, 2018, I received a call from Olkinyei Conservancy rangers that an orphaned elephant had been following a bull (male) herd who were bashing it about as it trailed them. The conservancy rangers unsuccessfully attempted to separate the calf from the aggressive bulls, so the MEP helicopter was needed to ensure this calfs safe separation from the bull herd. At approximately 2:30 p.m. I arrived on the scene with Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarian Dr. Michael Njoroge. Frist, we flew over the dead mother nearby that was reported earlier that morning as having died of natural causes. The KWS Siana team had already arrived on the scene and removed and cataloged the tusks. When we arrived, we could see the baby following the full bull herd and the bulls occasionally whacking the very young baby with their trunks. We quickly moved to separate the baby from the bulls and the ground team was successful in securing the baby. Dr. Njoroge then gave it a mild sedative so we could load it into the helicopter and transport it to the DSWT elephant orphanage in Nairobi.” MEP CEO Marc Goss
The mother elephant’s carcass found the morning of July 4, 2018 and reported to KWS.The orphaned baby elephant in the MEP helicopter on the way to the DSWT orphanage in Nairobi.
This incident, like all MEP responds to, was properly noted in our monthly report. The circumstances surrounding this incident were also featured on MEP’s social media feeds on July 5, 2018 and in a corresponding blog highlighting the July Report. Mara Elephant Project by posting videos and stories from the field strives to create an atmosphere of transparency with our supporters and the communities living alongside wildlife in the Mara.
To suggest that Mara Elephant Project, a conservation organization working every day to protect elephants and conserve the greater Mara ecosystem is, at any time, not taking actions that directly protect elephants or the Mara, is fabricated. Recently, there have been misleading media reports about conservation efforts in the Mara, and we encourage all media and individuals to not post something until they have thoroughly checked the facts and contacted MEP directly.