Kenya collars elephants to allow real-time response to threats


Crispin Adriaanse, The Independent Online  

Date Published

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Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) collared elephants on Tuesday to allow rangers to respond in real-time to any threats.

A team of KWS scientists and rangers carried out the operation in Shimba Hills National Reserve, where they were accompanied by the cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala and KWS director general, Brigadier John Waweru, as well as the CEO of Kenya’s Wildlife Training and Research Institute, Dr Patrick Omondi.

The new collars are considered significant in Kenya’s conservation efforts since they pinpoint the elephant’s location with greater accuracy and speed, according to KWS.

“This means rangers now have the ability to respond instantly to real-time threats affecting the elephants or predict future potential issues,” KWS said.

The collars also allow KWS to prevent human-wildlife conflict. If a herd of elephants is moving towards a human settlement, the national wildlife body will be able to intercept the animals before this occurs.

Earlier this month a herd of elephants caused a stir as they crossed a busy Kenyan road in Mariakani, about 80km from Shimba Hills National Reserve.

Waweru said he was delighted to have taken part in collaring the elephants.

Kenya has the fourth-largest population of elephants in the world, with more than 36,000 in the East African country. The elephant population has increased by 2,000 in four years, according to findings from the country’s first National Wildlife Census 2021.