Dear Loyal Supporter,
We hope you and loved ones are safe and healthy during this challenging time. As a past supporter of Mara Elephant Project, we wanted to give you an update on World Elephant Day.
At Mara Elephant Project, we carry on. The rapid and global spread of the COVID-19 virus means a challenging future for conservation, particularly elephant conservation in Kenya. MEP is taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously but that has not meant we have stopped working. As first responders, we continue to reinforce and abide by all national and international guidelines to help reduce the spread of the virus and be a good example to others.
MEP is staying true to our mission as a frontline conservation organization through this ever-changing environment. We continue to closely monitor the Mara on the ground with ranger units in the field who are actively keeping elephants safe.
As you know, MEP works closely with the local communities to protect Kenya’s iconic elephants and the Mara ecosystem and we are deeply concerned about the socio-economic downturn in the Mara. As economic hardships increase for local communities, food security is paramount to their well-being. We remain vigilant in protecting crops from elephants and elephants from poachers all while remaining safely isolated to avoid the spread of this highly infectious disease and the helicopter has been a vital tool for ensuring this.
Additionally, one immediate threat that may be a result of this crisis is the resurgence of poaching. The helicopter remains crucial for aerial reconnaissance to increase security in threatened areas. The Nyakweri Forest is a hotbed of illegal activity in the Mara and MEP has witnessed firsthand the alarming levels of charcoal production and illegal logging that is contributing to the deforestation of this critical elephant habitat. Through our monitoring of MEP’s collared elephant Fitz and our patrol unit stationed in the forest, we have seen how quickly the forest is changing and are actively combatting it.
In April, escalating threats to elephants in the Nyakweri Forest prompted Kenya Wildlife Service to immediately deploy a ranger unit alongside MEP to provide protection to the elephants in this area. The team is actively patrolling the forest to eradicate illegal activities and provide security for the wildlife in the forest and the communities surrounding the forest.
Especially during these unprecedented times, MEP believes in investing in local communities, employing them as rangers and training and deploying them to protect Kenya’s national natural heritage. We also know that a partnership approach like the one KWS and MEP take is working, and the rapid deployment of a team specifically to combat poaching in an increasingly threatened area is key to expanding security.
This is why we ask you to continue your support of MEP’s core operations during COVID-19.
A gift during this difficult time can keep MEP’s helicopter flying and keep MEP rangers patrolling.
We are flying the helicopter, on average, well over our previous monthly 30-hour average, and need precious flying time to continue our work. For $400 you can fund one hour of flying time for the helicopter and for $12,000 you can keep us flying for an entire month. MEP rangers also need your support by funding rapid response ranger teams to react as illegal activities are on the rise. You can ensure rangers are moving elephants out of crops faster by providing them for one month with 450 firecrackers for $600 or buy monthly food rations for 16 rangers working hard during COVID-19 for $800. The MEP Intelligence Unit breaks down poaching rings and a gift of $6,000 enables them to continue this vital work for one month.
As a frontline conservation organization, we are reacting in real-time to the rapidly changing environment as a result of COVID-19. Never in any of our lives have we dealt with anything like what is happening now, and we are adapting to meet this challenge, but we need your support to ensure the Mara’s wildlife and communities are protected at this time.
Please help us continue our mission in the Mara during the pandemic!
Donate on World Elephant Day.
All my best,
CEO Mara Elephant Project
MEP offers a wide range of giving options:
- Give with a credit card via PayPal. The Sidekick Foundation has a platinum GuideStar rating and your donation will be securely processed.
- Give with a check in the USA. Please mail checks payable to Sidekick Foundation D.B.A. Mara Elephant Project 4000 W. 106th Street Suite 125-238 Carmel, IN 46032 with a note indicating you would like your donation to go to Mara Elephant Project USA. Please include your address for the mailing of tax information. All donations are tax deductible. Tax Exempt ID 45-3996413.
- Give via U.S. wire transfer, foreign wire transfer, stock in the U.S. or bank transfer in Kenya. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.