Among the Elephants Blog

June 30, 2003
Progress Report: June 2003
by Onesmas Kahindi


STE Field Officer The mortality survey involves recording elephant carcasses since 1997 by visiting and making detailed a MIKE report for each. Carcasses are found by perusing through documents and records at KWS Stations, written messages from the private and community conservancies, elders, women, warriors and children. Together with a field assistant and the local guides, we travel either by foot or vehicle to find the carcass. Each skeleton is photographed and assessed to ...

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April 30, 2003
2003 April Interns
Save the Elephants


This includes taking our mobile video unit out to local schools, villagers around the reserve, and the entire Rangers community. This is done in conjunction with elephant research which is our core program. In mid April we invited two girls for our interns program. The two girls come from within our operation area; a village called Kiltamany and Archers Post. They were chosen from a large number of various students and other interested people in the area who had applied. Rosemary ...

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April 30, 2003
Marsabit Report
Save the Elephants


It is an oasis in the middle of a desert and is surrounded by the great northern deserts of Kenya, causing it to be isolated from other elephant habitats. For this reason, the genetics of this isolated population should prove to be very interesting. David Daballen, Henrik Rasmussen, and George Wittemyer, experienced researchers working in Samburu National Reserve, were required to collect DNA from at least 30 elephants from the relatively isolated Marsabit volcano. Our first day took ...

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March 28, 2003
Community Educational Tour
by David Daballen, Senior Research Assistant


North of Samburu National reserve lies Kalama conservancy. Far north is Namunyak wildlife conservancy. These two conservancies are owned by the communities and are shared with wild animals. The communities are responding more positively to the idea of conservation, and we can now see more and more of them attending wildlife seminars and courses to open more place to wild animals. This is so especially with people living north of Matthews Ranges who still have a lot of land to share. ...

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March 28, 2003
The dung samples are to be analysed to determine the stress levels and the relationships between various elephant populations. We went to Shimba Hills Game Reserve first where we found fresh elephant tracks, but unfortunately no elephants were sighted nor any fresh elephant dung was found. We managed to collect one sample which was about a day old. We decided to head to Mwaluganje Elephant Game Sanctuary as we had been informed that there were many elephants along the river. On the ...

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February 27, 2003
Kamunyak, the miracle lioness
by David Daballen, Senior Research Assistant


Samburu National Reserve has recently become a famous park, across Africa and the whole world today. At the beginning of last year the eighth wonder of world happened here in Kenya. In Samburu a Lioness (now known as Kamunyak) adopted a baby Oryx. This made many people question whether this has ever been seen anywhere before; the scientist and religion people all sat down but no answer was obtained. The religion said "It's the end of the age"; but before "the end of the age" came, ...

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January 30, 2003
Snared Calf
by David Daballen, Senior Research Assistant


Elephants are always prone to many risks, especially when they go outside the protected area and are likely to get snared or poached both of which always cause much stress or even result in death sometimes. On 20-Jan-03 as I was looking for a specific bull, B1033 Apollo for re- collaring I found calf R33.95m who is about seven years, with a huge plastic on his rear foot, struggling to walk. We sent a radio message to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to try and get hold of Ian Craig, who has ...

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December 20, 2002
The Story of Tomboi, the orphaned baby elephant in Samburu
by Carter D. Ong, Donor Relations Officer


 On Friday December 13th 2002 I traveled to Samburu with Laurence for an end of the year bash for Save the Elephants and Elephant Watch Safaris. Often very interesting things happen there but Saturday December 14th was without a doubt one of the most memorable days I have ever had. In the morning we heard Iain on the radio saying that they had found an abandoned elephant calf and that they were desperately searching for its mother. George was certain who the calf was and had just ...

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August 19, 2002
In memory of Hakim
by Ann-Kathrin Oerke, STE guest researcher


On the 16th of August 2002 we lost one of our most beautiful and gentle elephant bulls, HAKIM, a 30-35 year old male that had just gone through his first musth period. The vets had to put him down because unknown people had fatally shot him two days before, as Lugard and I were just next to him! On the 16th of August 2002 we lost one of our most beautiful and gentle elephant bulls, HAKIM, a 30-35 year old male that had just gone through his first musth period. The vets had to put him ...

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July 28, 2002
Green Hunting in Timbavati
by Iain Douglas-Hamilton


On the 9th May 2002 a huge elephant with tusks weighing over 100lbs a side was shot by a Texan hunter, in South Africa. Such large bulls are revered by female elephants, and are very rare in Africa today, as they have been selectively killed for their tusks. This one had strayed from the protection of the Kruger national park into the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on its western boundary. However this was a hunt with a difference. It was non lethal. Timbavati, with the support of ...

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June 20, 2002
His work combines behavioral observations together with faecal sample collection for hormone and DNA analyses, and detailed monitoring of elephant movements using Global Positioning System collars and radio tracking. The radio-tracking work is part of a larger study by Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton examining the movements, hotspots and corridors of elephants throughout the Samburu/Laikipia ecosystem. Henrik's work is currently funded by Save the Elephants, The International Elephant ...

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May 20, 2002
Two years ago Save the Elephants donated four GPS radio collars to a Wildlife Conservation Society project studying elephants in the forest. Since then the WCS team of Steve Blake and his colleagues have been tracking the elephants and accumulating a rare set of data. The aim is to find out how far the elephants travel and how they use the forest. It is our hope that once the critical movements are known this information will be used to help preserve the rapidly disappearing forest ...

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January 1, 2002
My sister Dudu and I were lucky enough to be the only ones to film the complete documentary of the extraordinary and unlikely tale about the strange love a lioness had for an Oryx calf which she adopted within its first week of life. The odd pair was first reported on the 21st Dec 2001 by a driver from Larsen's lodge, Samburu who told us that the calf had still had its umbilical cord when he first saw it. We encountered the lioness and calf for the first time after they had been ...

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November 14, 2001
The Elephant Incident
by Bernard Lesowapir, Research assistant, Meru National Park


We woke up early Wednesday morning as usual to prepare for our daily fieldwork. That particular day, we were planning on returning early. We needed to buy some provisions for the next three days as we were planning to camp inside the park. We started our fieldwork along the fence towards the road number 101, a place we call the Kinna Triangle. By about 8:00am we returned to the main road, which we followed backwards until route 1. Along the way we encountered one bull called "Victor" ...

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June 18, 2001
Leslie Scott recently 'bought' the new Lotek GPS1000 collar at auction at the STE/Tusk Trust fundraising event at Sotheby's in London. Goya is the matriarch of one of the resident Samburu elephant families called the 'Artists'. She is a tall, distinguished elephant with five known calves whose youngest is a female born in 1999. Goya's herd usually consists of her calves, including her adult daughter Flaubert with her first calf also born in 1999, and 2 other adult females Rodan and ...

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