Pooja Menon, Wildlife Conservation Network

Date Published

The Land Cruiser is parked at a discreet distance from the Ewaso Ng’iro River, where a herd of elephants is bathing. From inside the vehicle, Frank Pope of Save the Elephants (STE) observes its newest member—a six-month-old male. The calf splashes in the water, his chubby body slick and mud-spattered. His mother, Monsoon, is nearby, keeping a watchful eye on her son. Monsoon is the herd’s 57-year-old matriarch and one of the oldest elephants in Samburu National Reserve, her young calf is one of 52 born in the Reserve last year. Under the herd’s protection, he is growing into a confident, feisty bull. Ten years ago this relatively serene childhood would have been upended by a raging poaching crisis in northern Kenya.

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