Kenya expands elephant tracking programme (VIDEO)



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Two more elephants have been fitted with radio collars in Kenya to track their movements in a scheme to stop them coming into conflict with humans. Paul Chapman reports.


Putting a radio collar on a fully grown elephant was never going to be an easy job. Vets in Kenya used darts to knock out the latest two animals to be fitted with the tracking devices. The animals were spotted out in areas where herders were grazing livestock, underscoring the importance of the scheme to follow their movements. STEVE NJUMBI, HEAD OF PROGRAMMES EAST AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE, SAYING: “If we can map out the critical corridors and dispersal areas, give that information to development planners, we can zone out and separate conflicting land uses, mitigating on wildlife contact, allow tourism and allow human development.” The latest collared animals bring the total to 14 in the Amboseli National Park. Kenya’s successful conservation drive has doubled the country’s population of wild elephants in the past 35 years to 32, 000 but it comes with a price. The elephants increasingly come into conflict with humans as they migrate between parks. It’s hoped that by tracking their movements simple deterrents like electric fences can be put in place to keep them away from farms and crops. The collars also give rangers advance warning if the animals risk straying too close to human settlements.