Among the Elephants Blog

September 19, 2006
Anastasia and Grace...
Caroline Mullins and David Daballen


Today we saw one of those elephant behaviours which make us wonder what is going on in the heads of these complex, conscious beings. The Royals are the largest family unit of elephants we have identified within Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba Reserves. They are very well known to the researchers because they spend most of their time in the Reserves, and we have now had three different collars getting GPS data from the family as well. We were tracking this family to the West of the ...

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August 25, 2006
In July this year, EarthWatch Institute (Europe) offered Save the Elephants a fully-funded place on one of its projects, Elephants of the Red Volta in Ghana-African capacity building programme. The Project aims to provide information to conserve the fauna and flora of the Red Volta River Valley through a Community Collaborative Reserve, with special emphasis on reversing the decline in a small population of migratory elephants in the area where Ghana meets Burkina Faso and Togo. STE nominated...

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August 17, 2006
At the 26th ESRI User Conference 2006, Save the Elephants was awarded The Special Achievement in GIS Award by Jack Dangermond. During the award presentation, Jack the President and founder of ESRI hailed Save the Elephants for the highly successful GIS program in Kenya, noting that is amongst the best success stories in conservation. In particular he hailed the demo by Save the Elephants on tracking elephants in Northern Kenya. Prior to receiving the Award, Festus Ihwagi attended a ...

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August 2, 2006
Mohammad Sime was a young man of the Borana tribe who lived in Isiolo. He earned his living selling bracelets and other jewellery to the tourists at the Buffalo Springs airstrip. In this way, he was well known to Iain and Oria, who often use this airstrip. He was always friendly and eager to help whenever possible. We remember him particularly well from one incident involving a long flight over Mount Kenya and Laikipia. Being a friend who was always interesting in the work of Save the...

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August 2, 2006
The Story of Dorobo
by David Daballen, Caroline Mullins and Emma Knott


A year ago George Wittemyer reported a new elephant and her family sighted within Buffalo Springs National Reserve, the first time this had happened in six years. George made a careful analysis of the age structure of Dorobo and the six calves, and came to the conclusion that they were the remnants of a family that must have contained at least two more breeding females. Evidently, she had come from an area where elephants suffered high mortality. The other adults were probably killed ...

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March 28, 2006
I came out here towards the end of January and have been busy with finalising all the student selections and getting them off to school. A lot of interesting things have happened up here in Samburu. Please read on... Students - Nine (9) kids went off to school, and 2 primary kids – Litus and Samuel are finally in school (These are the boys that were attacked by an elephant in the Samburu National Reserve). Litus emerged from looking after his mbuzis (goats) and was very excited to ...

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February 14, 2006
An intimate Valentine's dinner and concert benefitting Save the Elephants was held in Seattle... On 14th February 2006, Jazz musician Kenny G & actor Pierce Brosnan came together and held a "Save the Elephants" Valentine's Day benefit whose proceeds went to the Save the Elephants Trust. Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Founder, Save the Elephants attended the benefit and said it was "just sensational". The charity benefit was a huge success and we are extremely grateful to Kenny...

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December 20, 2005
Veterinary Report On The Immobilization of Elephants in Marsabit
by Zahoor Kashmiri and Henrik Barner Rasmussen


Considering the terrain and ground cover by forest and the road structure it was decided that the most practical and possible way to dart the animal in this area was on foot.The elephants were located either by car, air or through information from local people. Once the animal was located it was approached within few hundred metre by car then on foot and the working group was split into advance party which comprised of Henrik, myself and a ranger with a gun and the second group stayed about ...

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July 11, 2005
The most interesting bit of news is regarding a new family identified in Buffalo Springs. We have occasionally come across unknown, very wild groups on the southern border or outside the Buffalo boundary. It has been over 6 years, however, since we have had a new family move into the reserve and use the protected area for an extended period. The newly identified family contains a single breeding female and five immature individuals. The ages of the calves indicate that at least 2 of ...

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June 10, 2005
Wilderness First Aid Training
Njoki Kibanya, Nairobi


31st May - 2nd June 2005 On Monday 30th May 2005, David Gachuche, Benard Lesowapir and I drove to Samburu to attend a Wilderness First Aid Course which was conducted by Nick Miller of Rift Valley Adventure. Other people also attending the course included: From STE - Shivani Bhalla, Gilbert Sabinga, Chris Leadismo, and Wilson Lepuko. From Elephant Watch Safaris - Sumaro Lecharkole, Simeon Losokon, Philip Leleliit, Bernard Lesirin, Chris Letur. From Samburu Natioinal Reserve and Buffalo...

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May 30, 2005
The Recovery of Columbus' Collar
by Shivani Bhalla, Samburu


Columbus was fitted with a Lotek 2000 collar on the 7th of November 2003. He was last seen by the Save the Elephant's long term monitoring team on the 12th of Dec 2003 in Samburu National Reserve (SNR) - a month after the collar was fitted. In April 2005 Columbus needed to be located, and his collar replaced with a GSM collar. On the 26th of April, Iain flew around the area to try and pick up a signal for Columbus among other elephants that were targeted for a week long ...

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April 4, 2005
Education Programme
by Shivani Bhalla


Education Party 2005 We held our first Annual Education Party on Saturday the 26th of March. A few students started arriving a couple of days prior to the party and assisted with the arrangements. Schools closed on the 23rd and 24th of March before the Easter weekend. We were thrilled to have 13 students attend our party. Unfortunately, 3 were unable to attend. Daniel and I gave them presentations on the work that is being carried out at STE. They observed how elephants are tracked ...

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October 10, 2003
The Death of Eleanor
by Shivani Bhalla


Eleanor one of our elephants collapsed and on 11th October 2003, she died. Below is an eyewitness story by one of our researchers. On the 10th of October 2003, the Save the Elephants research team in Samburu were informed by the rangers that an elephant was unwell near the Wire Bridge area and that it had fallen. The team rushed over to the area, to find that the female was still standing but had apparently broken her tusk during previous falls and her right ear seemed damaged. Her ...

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September 22, 2003
5Y AOT Crash!
by Oria Douglas-Hamilton


Our most loved plane Alpha Oscar Tango, a Cessna 185, crashed in Samburu on Sept. 11th at 6:15pm when it hit a zebra on landing. Iain and his researcher David Daballen managed to scramble out of the windows and both got away with some minor cuts and bruises. Everything happened so fast, but as Iain was flying back from Mount Kenya where he had been searching for "Mountain Bull" (who roams the forests on the eastern slopes) he suddenly saw a zebra flash past him on touch down and then ...

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August 25, 2003
August Internship 2003
Save the Elephants


It was very successful and more recently, we invited two other students to our research centre. We welcomed two girls, Halima and Patina to STE in August. They were both incredibly keen to learn more about our work and were thrilled when they heard that they had been accepted to come and spend two weeks with us in Samburu. Both girls come from Archers Post, a nearby town. Daniel Lentipo, STE Community Program Officer, briefed them about camp regulations upon their arrival. He provided...

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