Mara Elephant Project had some exciting fundraising developments in the last quarter. In April, we received funding from a US-based family foundation that protected an elephant for three years by funding the collaring, monitoring and research of that elephant candidate. In May, MEP received $55,000 from several generous donors, two of which were previous donors. In June, MEP received a significant donation of $25,000 from an individual who has graciously supported MEP previously. MEP also received a donation of $2,000 from the winner of a tarpon fishing tournament in Florida, USA.
In June, C.E.O. Marc Goss hosted a large group of visitors to the Mara staying at Angama Mara that included the C.E.O. of WildAid who recently supported the protection of an elephant for three years by collaring and monitoring that elephant. He and his team received the MEP presentation from Marc and were taken to various new areas of operation to see MEP ranger stations and meet rangers while out on patrol. We appreciate WildAid’s support and look forward to a long-term partnership with them.
Seedballs Kenya just launched a fundraising initiative to help fund seedball packs for MEP rangers to distribute (pictured left) while out on patrol. We are very happy to participate in Seedball Kenya’s mission to regenerate Kenya’s forests. The TUSK Trust Safaricom Marathon took place June 30 at LEWA Wildlife Conservancy. The money raised from this marathon goes to support a range of conservation projects and in previous years we have received funding for MEP rangers and operations. We appreciate the support from the runners and TUSK.
TUSK Trust Safaricom Marathon took place on June 30 at LEWA.
In April, we nominated a MEP intelligence ranger for the inaugural 2018 Ranger Award from the Paradise International Foundation and we’re happy to report that he won $3,000 and will be featured in their brochure. C.E.O. Marc Goss, the MEP intelligence officer and Tracking Manager Wilson Sairowua will be traveling to South Africa in August to accept this award.
A large ivory seizure and arrest our intelligence ranger took part in.
In June, MEP continues to have very good discussions with the leaders of both the Alibaba Foundation and the Paradise International Foundation. We are exploring different areas where we can all collaborate to protect elephants and the Mara ecosystem. Additionally, we’ve been meeting with the Indianapolis Zoo to further explore partnerships and funding with their conservation initiatives. The executive director, communications director and director of strategic initiatives for the ESCAPE Foundation, MEP’s core funder, all were graciously given a tour of the Indy Zoo’s elephant park and got to meet one of their elephants from Kenya. We continue to develop relationships with potential key funding partners like Elephant Cooperation and the International Elephant Foundation. Elephant Cooperation is an organization with a similar goal as ESCAPE Foundation with a focus on protecting wildlife in wild places, like MEP. Additionally, the International Elephant Foundation is accepting grants for their 2019 giving cycle that focus on human-elephant conflict mitigation.
Crooked Creek Elementary School (pictured above) in Indianapolis, IN raised $2,000 for MEP through their Global Marketplace in February and presented the check in April.In the second quarter of 2018, generous grassroots support of MEP on Facebook have raised $1,225.34! We had seven people choose to celebrate their birthday by hosting fundraisers on Facebook to great success. Thank you: Alex, Brooke, Marias, Les, Ashley, Marina and Jade!
The MEP visitor experience (pictured left) has really taken off now that busy tourist season in the Mara is upon us. A $100 donation ensures you can visit MEP HQ for a tour and learn more about elephants. We now have 24 camps and travel companies all promoting the MEP experience. If you’re interested in more information, please email email@example.com. We anticipate this to be a great new way for people to get to know MEP and possibly generate a new database of supporters. Thank you to all of the camps and travel agents that are sending their visitors through the MEP HQ experience. It helps us create a special connecting between the tourists visiting the Maasai Mara and the extensive conservation efforts going on to protect its wildlife.
Mara Elephant Project celebrated Earth Day on April 22 and pop star Ellie Goulding posted about MEP on Instagram and Facebook to her over 14 million followers highlighting the recently announced UK ivory ban. MEP’s Instagram account is now up to 2,111 followers which is a significant increase over our 1,400 we had in January. We were able to cover some interesting topics in April on our blog including the poaching of our collared elephant Mytene, a field report from MEP’s new intern, a new human-elephant conflict mitigation tool called a flashing light fence and an interesting study about the decline in biodiversity across ecosystems. In May there was a high level of human-elephant conflict happening around the Olarro Conservancy. This led to many joint operations all month between Mara Elephant Project, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT)/Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Mara Mobile Vet Unit and Olarro Conservancy. These treatments and human-elephant conflict mitigation techniques are always a great way for our supporters to engage directly with MEP’s day-to-day operations, which provided a lot of good video, photos and stories from the field. Keep following MEP on our blog, Elephant Matters.
One of the joint operations to treat an arrow wound as a result of human-elephant conflict.
In May, we were featured on The Dodo’s Facebook page with MEP tagged for an elephant treatment video and that post alone received 1 million views, 3,160 shares and 25,000 likes. We were also featured on their blog. Thank you to Angela Sheldrick from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who handled that contact and procured our organizations being featured on The Dodo. Thank you to all of our partners for supporting MEP by tagging us in their social media posts. In June, a very exciting development is that Ellen DeGeneres (pictured left) adopted one of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) elephants that MEP had a hand in rescuing. This proved to be really great exposure on social media as she posted on her social media channels to her millions of followers about this adoption. MEP celebrated World Environment Day and filmed the collaring operation for a new elephant in Loita Hills, which enables our supporters to see firsthand a collaring operation. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
MEP was featured in Wired UK in May with an interview with C.E.O. Marc Goss highlighting the technology MEP is using to combat poaching and human-elephant conflict. Robinson Helicopter Company also featured MEP in their spring newsletter which goes out to all of their buyers, sellers and customers worldwide.
The Greatest Maasai Mara Photography Competition by the Angama Foundation continues to be a fun way to engage new supporters for MEP. We’ve had some great entries benefitting our organization and thank everyone for their participation. MEP also celebrated Africa Day with a blog and social media posts tying into the theme of combatting corruption. We featured our partners the Narok County Government and Kenya Wildlife Service in that blog and it was well received on our social media channels.
A June entry in aid of MEP by Fabrizio posted on the competition’s Facebook page.
MEP re-designed our original logo of the front facing elephant to incorporate more dimension. We believe our logo is unique and synonymies with Mara Elephant Project, which is why keeping the original design and just improving slightly on it was important for brand awareness.
MEP Trustee Colin Church received an Order of the British Empire for his services to conservation, the environment and the community in Kenya. Congratulations Colin!
Finally, MEP is happy to announce that along with the Kenya Wildlife Service, we busted a fraudulent organization called Safeguard Elephants that was posing as other elephant conservation organizations around Africa asking for donations. Donor confidence is of the upmost importance to MEP and we were pleased these crooks were brought to justice.
Thank you to everyone who supported MEP in the second quarter!