The story of Wendy


by Fraizer Onyango, Local Intern

Date Published

Who is Wendy you ask? In the vast land of Samburu in Kenya, under the covers of acacia trees live so many families of elephants. Each elephant has been identified and named using very unique and distinct characteristics such as the patterning of the nick and tears in the ears, differences in the tusks for healthy animals. Otherwise for unhealthy animals particular distinguishing features such as bad leg and other permanent injuries are used.

Here is an elephant by the name Wendy. She is one of the mature females of Samburu Game Reserve. She was identified using her one tusk and grouped into the family unit known as the Poetic 1 which is composed of ten ladies and their calves. She has given birth to four calves; unfortunately she lost two of them to poachers and drought respectively.

Wendy was born in 1983, and being a resident of Samburu, she has the ID R7 and fitted with AWT GSM3 collar for easy tracking of her movements in and out of the Reserve. The collar is a very important tool for human- elephant conflict resolution, management and conservation initiatives since it provides information on range, seasonal movement, and habitat utilization and migration corridors of the other small elephant populations as well as identifying areas of potential human- elephant conflicts. This indicates how this elephant play a crucial role in the conservation of the entire biodiversity of Samburu National Reserve

Poaching has been the major threat to the population of elephants in Samburu ecosystem. Most elephants here are hunted down for their massive tusks to be exported to foreign markets. It was a bad moment for Wendy when she found herself in the hands of poachers. She was shot and lucky enough she didn’t die, though suffered gunshot wounds that were later treated. I am happy today to see her healed and alive.