Kenya raised US$ 149,000 to further protect its rising elephant population.
In a conservation success story, Kenya’s first wildlife census shows that elephant populations have increased dramatically in the African nation. Elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes, Grévy’s zebra, and a variety of antelopes have increased by 12% since the last data was reported in 2014 when poaching activity was at its highest. Kenya now has a total population of 36,280 elephants. This is due to valiant efforts to crack down on unlawful poaching in its fight to safeguard key species. The use of tracking, forensic technology, and enhanced convictions in Kenya has resulted in a significant reduction in poaching.
A larger elephant population does cause a potential increase in human-wildlife conflict. Patrick Omondi, chief executive of Kenya Wildlife Training and Research Institute, said “We have irrigation farms adjacent to the national park, and these farms, when elephants go out, they get into these farms and crop raid”.
To prevent this, rangers are collaring some elephants so that they can monitor their movements in live time and respond quickly if a conflict arises. More money is needed to sustain these conservation initiatives and ensure the continued success story of Kenya’s elephants. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the tourism, national parks, and conservation industries, meaning that funding is needed. Kenya Wildlife Service and the Ministry of Tourism organized a rare “Tembo” (Kiswahili for “Tusks”) naming festival in a bid to raise funds and boost conservation efforts. The initiative raised 149,000 U.S. dollars toward the conservation of elephants. Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, stated, “This is certainly a great milestone for Kenya and this initiative will go a long way in ensuring that elephants are protected in Kenya, not only for ourselves but also for future generations”.