Thanks to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Patron Kristin Davis and her financial assistance and momentum, along with the many individual donors whose contributions through the US Friends of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust have made the dream of a helicopter to support the DSWT ground teams, who work closely with KWS within the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA), become a reality. The Trust has taken ownership of a Mcdonnell Douglas (MD 500e) helicopter, which is a robust and highly manoeuvrable aircraft designed for military reconnaissance.
This new addition to the DSWT’s Aerial Surveillance Unit, based at the Trust’s field headquarters in Tsavo, will cover the greater Tsavo ecosystem and will be ideal for rapid response to any reports or incidences requiring immediate attention. With a short rotor and tail, high skids and a turboshaft engine achieving 130 knots per hour, this helicopter is fast and agile, with the capability of being able to land nearly anywhere within the vast and inaccessible regions of the TCA.
Sporting Tsavo’s colours the DSWT helicopter, captained by Humphrey Carter, has just begun work in Tsavo and reinforces all aerial operations greatly, whilst supporting the many KWS and DSWT ground teams who work hard to keep Tsavo and its wildlife safe during these challenging times.