Among the Elephants Blog
April 30, 2003
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 Lekuraiyo and Sadhia Hassan got the incredible opportunity to come and spend 2 weeks and learn new things from all our different researchers and scientists.
Daniel Lentipo, our community program officer, introduced Rosemary and Sadhia to the camp, researchers and assistance researchers. He showed them their accommodation which was a unique first time experience for the girls as they were going to be staying in tents. Following that, Daniel gave them a short history of the camp and briefed them on what they will be doing for the next two weeks.
The first day was very exciting as they went out with David Daballen, STE field officer, for elephant monitoring. They found a bull in musth who is a resident bull, Abe Lincoln. They also saw many females. This blew their mind! We came back to the camp and the two girls were completely amazed by what they had seen that particular day.
The next day they went out with Henrik Rasmussen, one of our PhD students who is interested with bulls. He collects dung samples which is one of our best jokes on the dinner table. The dung samples are collected to check the stress level when the bull is in different sexual status. The poor girls who had just come for the first time were in a scary situation as they watched bulls for the whole day within extreme close proximity. Each day was a new beginning with regard to what they were learning. They kept asking interesting questions relating to the trunk for example: How does it function? How does it collect small objects like acacia seed pods? Like others, they were fascinated with the young calves. The following day, George Wittemeyer, another PhD student who works with females, took the girls on a field trip to learn about his work. He explained all about what he does and why, and they once again spent a whole day out in the field with elephants.
The two weeks flew by and towards the end of the program; the two interns started learning about computers. They were incredibly quick in learning all that was taught to them. At the end of the 2 weeks, they didn't believe that they were to write their last report as they thought they still had some time to stay with us, but unfortunately the two weeks were over.
We hope that many other students will come to this unique learning institution and learn about all the interesting and informative facts about elephants.