wildlife
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10
Aug

Ch. 36: The Elephant Graveyard

The Waso corridor stretches from Kirimon to Kipsing. Right in the middle of this vast land there is a rock formation called Tali, behind it lies an important path in which migration elephants pass.

Difficult terrain and thick bush has in the last 9 months made this a ‘poaching hotspot’ – we are doing all we can to try and reverse this deadly trend.

This is what an Elephant Graveyard looks like.

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24
Feb

Ch. 33: Locals defend poached elephant in gunfight

 

The Chaiman of Kipsing Trust explains an extraordinary change of attitudes towards wildlife and poaching in the area. He invited me to meet and reward two elders from Sieku valley, Kipsing.

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Chairman of Kipsing Community Trust with his head Warrior Scout

I tagged along and sat with them as the Chairman thanked them for what they had done by slaughtering a goat for us all to share.

The elders told us their story;
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20
Nov

CH.30: A FORMER POACHER’S MESSAGE

Please look at our glossary of Samburu words to the right for definitions of Samburu terms and click back through previous Chapters (below right) to understand more about the Samburu.

It started with reports of gunshots from across the river. A huge male elephant shot in the eye. This was the first of eleven elephant to lose their lives.

Once again the illegal trade of ivory is affecting the lives of the Samburu people – threatening their future and lands for generations to come.

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21
Nov

CH.26: SALANGO – OPEN WATER RESERVOIRS

Walking across the open plains of Kirimon the vast expanse stretches off into haze, undercutting the hills to the north and making them levitate in the heat on the horizon.


1.a moran on the savannah of the laikipia plateau

This beautiful savannah lies on the edge of the Laikipia plateau in Samburuland, and a dramatic escarpment that drops and undulates towards the Waso Ngiro river, the lifeblood of the Samburu.

Along this volcanic plateau you find natural depressions, gradual slopes that interrupt the plain and signify the oncoming descent.

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3
Jul

CH.17: THE IVORY BONFIRE

This week we are happy to be able to share a guest post from Kenya Wildlife Service honorary warden Colin Francombe.

Colin has been living in Northern Kenya for 50 years and is a devoted conservationist. His knowledge of the Samburu and their ecosystem is encyclopaedic and he is highly respected amongst the Samburu as an elder of the Kimaniki age group.

In 1989 Kenya took a stand by burning its ivory stockpiles, worth millions of dollars, in the hope that other countries would follow suit and prevent the African elephant from extinction. This statement strengthened the newly formed CITIES total ban on ivory trade, collapsing the market on ivory and allowing the Elephant to recuperate.

In 1997 the total ban was lifted to allow experimental trade with China and Japan, now blamed for fueling a market that has seen a population of 300,000 African Elephants dwindle to an approximate 20,000, facing local extinctions all over Africa.

Colin was instrumental in the kind of action that these Elephant now desperately need once again if they are to survive, and this week he shares with us his tale of the Ivory Bonfire:
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10
May

CH.13: ELEPHANT POACHING 2

Three weeks ago we told the story of a poached elephant and a little about the devastating rise in ivory trade. This week we tell you the fate of the mother’s missing orphan.

A couple of weeks had passed since we lost the trace of the orphan. There had been one small shower, not enough to nourish the land, but enough to completely wipe any baby elephant tracks in the area it was last seen.

Rising early Talis and I walked to the luga to redig a well. Around midday we walked to the point where it meets the Waso river and came across some morani. These Morani had come from further north and were walking to soko (markets) which were taking place the next day about half a day’s walk away. They told us a young baby had been spotted with a herd way north on the Waso. We knuckled down to walk through the intense heat of the afternoon.

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18
Apr

CH.10: ELEPHANT POACHING 1


1. two bullets on a poached Elephant’s skin, one unspent round used as an example provided by a KWS ranger for the photo and one recovered from the Elephant in autopsy

This is a personal account of an Elephant that was poached while
I was living with Talis in Waso, and the search for her orphaned calf.

We heard from one of our wildlife monitors that an Elephant had been poached near the Sieku valley. Our monitors are trained to check for breast milk that would indicate that her calf may be too young to survive alone with the herd.

We arrived and were shown the body of the mother. She was lying under a tree next to a gulley and her body had already had signs of hyena trying to feed on her the night before.

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14
Mar

CH.5: NOSOKONI’S ELY ATTACK

Nosokoni was a little girl that was attacked by an elephant while collecting firewood.

This is the story of her ordeal and recovery as described by Julia Francombe, the founder of the Samburu Trust. This story was originally written by artist Annie Tempest, and has now been re-edited for the Waso Chapters.

Julia grew up in Samburuland, her parents Rocky and Colin run a private game ranch called Ol Malo that sits on the edge of the Laikipia Plateau in the remote desertlands of northern Kenya.


1. Nosokoni

On June 15th, 2000 some elders brought in a 6 year old girl to the ranch that had been crushed by an extremely large bull elephant.

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