First experiences – Samburu!


Getrude J. Kibet, National Intern

Date Published

It is almost a week since I arrived at the Save The Elephants research camp located in the Samburu National Reserve as an intern. With almost daily outings for elephant long term monitoring and mammal censuses in the field, time has passed by so quickly already.

The first few days were quite confusing identifying different elephants and their families as well but thanks to Jenna and the entire team  now I can proudly identify a few families and elephants using primary features such as the shape of their ears and tusks .It may look tiresome everyday working around in the vehicle but it is a wonderful experience indeed.

What really amazed me is seeing huge bull elephants working and feeding together, I never imagined this happening in real life but thanks to STE it has really exposed me and I look forward to more exciting experiences in Samburu.

Then came the biggest day in my life so far, the elephant collaring! Preparations for this day began the previous day when all the collars were tested and kept ready, the elephants to be collared already identified.

Then very early on the morning of the collaring,  in full gear we went to the field, and after identifying our targets, the darting started where the vet darted an elephant to make the elephant unconscious for some time, then the collar is fixed and when the collaring is done the elephant is then injected with an antidote and within two minutes  is out there into its normal activities.

As we returned back to the camp I was very happy that for the first time in my life, I had come so close as to touch the elephant and take some measurement; an experience that I know very few people have witnessed.

And as the sun goes down at the other end of the horizon I sit back and thank the STE team and Almighty God for great things that have happened and many more ahead of us.

The elephant to carry

the identified elephant to be darted

fitting the collar

fitting the collar