September was an extremely active month for responses to human-elephant conflict in the Karen Blixen Camp Robinson R44 helicopter. Mara Elephant Project is sad to report that a baby elephant was killed in a conflict situation in the Munyas community. Though most of the helicopter responses are to HEC, we also had two instances in September where we were able to take the Sky Vet out to treat a wounded giraffe and elephant. The helicopter has also been an effective way for the Kenya Wildlife Service to monitor large areas in the Mara. They’ve purchased fuel for us to partner in October to do areal reconnaissance in Loita, Mosiro and Siana.
Forty-eight percent of our HEC Mitigation response was done via the helicopter this month. During the conflict in Munyas the helicopter was essential to moving elephants to safety. The average cost per hour to fly the helicopter is $300 and MEP is in need of donors who are interested in keeping this critical HEC tool flying.