Published on the 12th of January, 2018
Space, or more the lack of it for wildlife, is a growing challenge and one we have been addressing for many years through our Saving Habitats Program, mindful that with an ever increasing number of people, elephants need their migratory routes secured and protected to ensure they forever have a place to call home.
While people can make claim to land, elephants that have roamed it for millennia cannot and it falls to us to help create a form of ownership for them.
So we are delighted to announce that in partnership with the Big Life Foundation and local land owners, we will be securing The Kimana Sanctuary, a critical 5,700 acres of attractive land that is an essential corridor for the Amboseli elephants, ensuring they can safely roam between the Amboseli ecosystem, the Chyulu Hills and into Tsavo West National Park. With plentiful spring fed waterways, the Kimana swamps, groves of yellow fever trees with the majestic Kilimanjaro mountain as a back drop, the Kimana Sanctuary has always proved to be a favourite stomping ground for plentiful numbers of wildlife, particularly elephants.
Against a backdrop of increased agricultural and transport development, critical migratory routes are being lost; Kimana Sanctuary offers animals access to water and a vital corridor to travel between different parts of the ecosystem as seasons and migratory behaviour dictates, so with our partners, we are now able to offer continued safety and protection for Amboseli’s majestic bulls, elephant families, and other wild animals, all the while providing a livelihood for the Maasai in the area.
The DSWT is committed to covering the cost of the land leases, paid to the local community who own the land; to ensure it remains set aside for wildlife, as opposed to agriculture, and provide the veterinary care any wildlife cases may require in the future through the DSWT funded Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit. In turn, the Big Life Team will provide and oversee the Sanctuary’s security and daily management.
With Kimana now secure with our partners Big Life we must ensure the protection of the animals that walk upon it. The need was demonstrated just this past weekend, when our KWS/DSWT Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit, along with Big Life Rangers, successfully treated a bull elephant that had been spotted with a spear stuck in his back. This was most likely a result of crop raiding by the elephant, with a farmer seeking to protect their crops, and it is such incidents of human-wildlife conflict that we seek to mitigate and in securing, and protecting the Sanctuary, that is what we will be doing – to keep elephants and people safe.