Among the Elephants Blog

May 12, 2021
A young orphaned elephant who survived the horror of her mother being killed by poachers and eventually gave birth to two calves of her own, has tragically been found dead in northern Kenya.  Shafaa (aged 21) was one of eight elephants reported to have been killed in the north over a period of just one week - highlighting just how serious human-elephant conflict has become in the area. Her death is a blow to our orphan ...

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April 22, 2021
Alongside other wildlife organizations, our Elephant Crisis Fund is a proud recipient of funds from the Tiffany 'Save The Wild' collection, which has now raised more than US$10 million. Congratulations to Tiffany & Co. on this amazing milestone! The continued support and commitment from Tiffany & Co. has enabled us to fund organizations at the frontline of elephant conservation and further protect vulnerable populations of elephants across Africa. A heartfelt thank you also to Trish...

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March 8, 2021
Counting Elephants: Modern vs. Traditional Survey Methods
By Howard Frederick, Wildlife Biologist


The idea of using satellites to count elephants has hit the news again. Unfortunately simple barriers - trees and clouds - stand in the way of getting accurate estimates of elephant numbers from space. Counting elephants and other large animals in the very large open spaces of Africa is a huge challenge. Conservationists normally use light aircraft, flying back and forth over tens of thousands of square kilometres,...

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February 2, 2021
There's an African proverb that goes...' when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers'. In May 2002, it was more than the grass that suffered after a bull named Rommel redirected his aggression towards one of our research vehicles in Samburu National Reserve. Luckily, the two researchers in the vehicle - STE's Scientific Board Chair, George Wittemyer, and his then research assistant, Daniel Lentipo - escaped unhurt. The Toyota, however, was completely...

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December 3, 2020
On the shores of Lake Jipe, which straddles the border between Kenya and Tanzania, an uneasy standoff persists—not between belligerent armies, but humans and elephants. In this area, which is on the western boundary of Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park, elephants make daily visits to the lake to eat the reeds that grow near the shore. After spending most of the day feeding, the elephants make their way inland along a route that takes them within a stone’s throw of several local villages,...

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November 2, 2020
MEET LUNA
Save the Elephants


Luna is a 19 year old female elephant who shares our home in Samburu National Park in northern Kenya.  She is a young mum. She gave birth to a baby girl in 2016. The rains are here in Samburu and Luna and her herd have been exploring the entire park, feasting on the abundance of food after a long dry spell. Luna’s life hasn’t always been rain dances and road trips. Luna...

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July 2, 2020
As elephants gathered in huge numbers in Samburu National Reserve recently, one elephant in particular stood out.  An enormous bull called Miguna Miguna had arrived out of the blue, begun chasing females, intimidating other bulls and squaring up to our vehicles. We hadn’t seen Miguna in Samburu for more than two years. Where had he been in that time? How was he moving through the vast and crowded Northern Kenya landscape and keeping safe from poachers and conflict? What could he ...

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July 2, 2020
On Thursday 12th March 2020, Kenya confirmed the first patient that tested positive for the coronavirus. The following week, a directive to close all learning institutions led to a shutdown of primary schools, high schools and universities across the country. Some 17 million students were affected as traditional classroom learning was disrupted. While some urban schools adapted quickly and moved their learning to online platforms, others were not so lucky owing to inadequate ...

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May 29, 2020
When Iain Douglas-Hamilton began radio-tracking elephants in Tanzania in 1968 it transformed our understanding of how far some elephants travel, and how different their individual movements can be. Today, with the original VHF beacons now joined by GPS sensors, accelerometers, and satellite uplinks, the revelatory trickle of data has become a torrent.   ...

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May 20, 2020
  Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) help us understand and protect elephants? Speech processing, facial recognition and many forms of forecasting have been transformed as computers learn to scour incoming streams of data for significant patterns. Now, it is showing promise for improving how we study elephant lives, as well as the state of their populations and ecosystems. The ability to identify individual elephants has been key to understanding their rich social world, and to ...

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May 14, 2020
A female elephant fitted with a GPS tracking collar has made a remarkable journey from Samburu to Marsabit in Northern Kenya - suggesting that elephants are starting to feel safe again. Koya, aged 23, made the 48 mile trek with six of her family, traversing a danger zone once troubled by tribal conflict and ivory poaching. This is the first time a female elephant has ever been recorded making the journey. In 2008 a collared bull elephant named Shadrack made the journey in the opposite...

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March 8, 2020
We are so proud of the matriarchs who lead our Samburu elephant herds in Northern Kenya.  With their knowledge, experience and wisdom, their leadership is crucial to the survival of the entire group.  In honour of these wonderful ‘ladies’ and to celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked our Head of Operations, David Daballen, who knows more than 600 elephants by name, to pick some of his favourite leaders in Samburu elephant society.   Says David: “I’ve ...

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February 5, 2020
"In both life and death, big bulls like Tim and Matt not only fire our imaginations, but they are also stark reminders that the last giants on Earth are quickly disappearing and we must do all we can to protect their future generations.” - Founder of Save the Elephants, Iain Douglas-Hamilton  Wednesday, February 5, 2020: Save the Elephants is saddened to hear of the loss of Tim the iconic great tusker who died, apparently of...

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January 13, 2020
New Tech to Count Elephants
Save The Elephants


Counting wildlife is critical for management but is expensive and surprisingly hard. Luckily a new improved technique is on the horizon.  Save the Elephants has trialled a new way of counting wildlife over large areas with an innovative method called the Oblique Camera Count, in partnership with survey expert Dr Richard Lamprey (who developed the technique), the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Department of Resource Surveys and Remote ...

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October 24, 2019
One of North Kenya’s largest tuskers - a celebrated African savanna elephant called Matt, has sadly died. Matt, aged 52, and one of Kenya’s well known elephant elders, died apparently from natural causes. During his lifetime he roamed further than any other Kenya elephant tracked by Save the Elephants, nearly circumventing Mount Kenya from Meru all the way to Laikipa, a continuous east to west loop of approximately 245km. His travels also took him northward across ...

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