Sunday the 20th was the day; it was all excitement around STE’s research camp for a big ceremony to hand over a new car. The Toyota Landcruiser, fully outfitted for anti-poaching work, was given to the game rangers of Samburu National Reserve to help them in their daily patrols around the reserve. This is just one of the many steps that STE continues to take to help decrease the number of elephants lost to poachers.
With senior representatives from both the National and County governments gracing the occasion we all hoped that the day would succeed in its aim in passing a crucial message to the County government that protection of wildlife is vital for the region and should be given high priority in their decision-making.
The occasion started at around ten when the Governor of Samburu County, Moses Kasoine Lenolkulal, arrived. It was so exciting to see the rangers march and the Governor inspecting the guard of honour. Later, the visitors had a tour around the camp where, with help of both Dr. Iain Douglas Hamilton and David Daballen, they were able to be briefed about the research that happens here.
One part of the occasion that was amazing was the entertainment. No one could help but smile at the school children who sang their hearts out and the women who wore their traditional attire and sang in praise not only of their political leaders but also of Dr. Douglas-Hamilton and his work in conservation. It was awesome seeing them shake their necks and the rhythm to which their ornaments moved. This is indeed a gorgeous culture that needs to be kept forever!
Many if not all of the stake holders in the conservation field were present, with each given a chance to talk briefly of what they do. It is so encouraging noting that the endangered species are taken care of by different people. It is my wish that this will help protect and increase the number of these species in future.
Then came more welcome speeches pledging support for wildlife. The Governor’s message crowned it all, as he promised that he will co-operate with the conservation stake holders to ensure that conservation is given priority in its agendas, and that he will have a meeting with the stake holders soon to plot the road forward. We all hope this is not the usual politicians’ empty promises but it will come to pass. We were humbled when – after being told that the next bull elephant to be tracked by Save the Elephants would be named after him – he promised to participate in the collaring. He pledged to help sensitise people on the benefits of taking care of the wildlife and especially the our beloved elephants. We hope the penalties that the county government will give to poachers will help secure a bright future for our elephants, and that this will transmit a good statement of intent to everyone associated and who care for these beautiful creatures.
The day was a great success! My utmost appreciation to everyone in the camp who worked tirelessly to make this happen!
Click here to watch a video of the ceremony.