Mara Elephant Project is pleased to announce the approval of a grant by the Bently Foundation for $31,540 for MEP ranger equipment needs in 2019. The Bently Foundation is a 501(c)(3) foundation that supports animal welfare, the environment and the arts based out of California, USA. Christopher and Camille Bently founded the organization to focus on these three areas of support and their giving has been extremely impactful with support for organizations like the Coral Reef Alliance, Humane Society International, WildAid, Mountain Lion Foundation and Return to Freedom. Together with their curated board of directors, they aim to give high impact project related grants that truly make a difference for organizations in need as well as the animals they protect.
This is why MEP is extremely grateful to the Bently Foundation for their focus on giving that truly makes an impact within an organization like MEP. Their money will be used to provide MEP’s rangers with new uniforms, wet weather gear, LED torches (flashlights) and 72-hour backpacks along with sleeping mats. The Bently Foundation recognizes that the key to the effectiveness, morale and retention of rangers is that they are properly equipped to undertake their work in the field. Due to the terrain and weather conditions in which rangers work, basic elements of their standard equipment need to be replaced due to normal wear- and-tear. MEP with funder support aims to replace this equipment every two years which ensures our rangers have reliable equipment to perform to the best of their ability in all conditions that are difficult, stressful, and at times, unconventional. Now, thanks to the generosity of the Bently Foundation, we can ensure in 2019 MEP rangers will be well equipped as they operate at the forefront of our anti-poaching operations and human-elephant conflict mitigation efforts through boots on the ground initiatives.
MEP’s rangers are the backbone of our organization and continue to achieve success. In 2017, more ivory was recovered from arrested suspects than was lost in the Mara ecosystem from poaching or conflict and our intelligence unit continues this success into 2018. We continue to collect and analyze the percentage of illegally killed elephants (PIKE) in the Mara ecosystem and MEP met our PIKE goal of below 50% in 2017 when PIKE decreased to 44%. In areas where MEP rangers have a presence the illegal killing of elephants has decreased.