Chris Leadismo, our HEC/MIKE Coordinator, works in tough conditions in Northern Kenya. When he’s not on patrol deep in the bush looking for elephant carcasses or poachers, he’s out among the local Samburu community helping keep peace in what can sometimes be a volatile landscape and coordinating on the ground security between our five different law enforcement partners. For the past 14 years, he has devoted himself to protecting elephants in Northern Kenya often spending months away from his family conducting missions where his life is at stake. He was a front-line witness to the scale of the poaching onslaught that hit northern Kenya in 2009, gathers critical information from elephant crime scenes, and trains others to do the same.
Chris was a finalist in the African Ranger Award and in 2017, delivered an effective speech to the Hong Kong legislative council on behalf of STE and rangers across Africa. His heartfelt testimony and words of wisdom were powerful and four months later, in January of 2018, Hong Kong followed China’s lead by declaring their intention to ban their domestic ivory trade. Samburu, Chris describes his job as “my life, not my livelihood”.
“For generations, the Samburu have loved and respected the elephants that we live among. That is why it’s natural for me to devote my life to defending them.” – Chris Leadismo