Balala launches elephant naming festival at Amboseli (Kenya)


Nancy Agutu, The Star

Date Published

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Tourism CS Najib Balala has officially launched the elephant naming festival at Amboseli National Park. Kenya will officially host the first annual Magical Kenya Elephant Naming Festival starting August 12, during World Elephant day.

With 1,800-2,000 elephants at the Amboseli National Park, this will be the first ever wildlife conservation event. It is meant to celebrate and champion elephant conservation by giving the public an opportunity to adopt and give the selected elephants unique identities.

The goal of the festival is to secure a future for elephants and their habitats in peaceful co-existence with humans while providing benefits and for posterity.

Balala said historically, this is the only place elephants can be traced through DNA. “We are going to have activities to raise funds during this day. We could not do this last year over pandemic. The community has played a role in protecting the endangered species…we have tamed the poaching,” he said.

“Amboseli National Park is one of the best places to view large herds of Elephants up close making it a premium park and a must visit tourist destination for most visitors,” KWS Director General John Waweru said.

During the Elephant naming ceremony, individuals will have a chance to adopt an elephant after contributing towards conservation. The foster parent (adopter) will then be given priority in choosing the first name of the elephant.

The second name will be a Maasai name based on the animal’s profile, history, role in the family, physical attributes like state of tusks.

Elephants are among endangered animal species in Kenya and the World. Despite local and international efforts to control the ivory trade and stop the decline of elephant populations, demand for ivory has remained high, resulting in continued poaching of elephants for their tusks.

With 34,000, Kenya has the fourth largest population of elephants in the world and it is through conservation that this number will not diminish for future generations to enjoy.