Ominous Reminder


Elleni Stephanou, Local Intern

Date Published

The elephants have become so used to the Save The Elephants vehicle that they feel barely any threat by it. They continue feeding/mating/playing as normal, and usually ignore the car completely. Sometimes they come up and explore; reaching trunks into the car or brushing alongside it. One young bull even tapped the bonnet a few times with his little tusks.

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young bull


Today, however, things were very different. We drove straight up to a group and were about to begin identifying them when instead of proceeding with life as usual they quickly crossed the road and were soon hiding behind bushes. As they were crossing the road Jerenimo spotted a wound on one of the young bulls’ lower leg. The wound, which was massively swollen and weeping pus was from a bullet, he was sure. The elephant was carrying on normally, he was not limping nor showing any signs of distress other than fleeing from the car so we moved on to another group. Here we found a young female with wounds in her neck, they too were swollen and weeping pus. The group, which was rather large, did not run away, but they kept their distance from the vehicle, looking at us with their ears pricked high, their heads forward smelling the air. Something had happened to these groups, it was evident. Across the river there were more groups, very ashy in colour, unlike the reddish brown the elephants become in the samburu soil. Jerenimo therefore deduced they must have come in from the south as the soil there is different, and is also a less safe area for them.


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wounded young female


I just hope they do not go back to wherever they came from. This scare is an ominous reminder that despite all the positive news regarding Chinese celebrities etc, the immediate threat to the lives of elephants is still very real and very high.