Lewa is home to between 100 - 500 elephant, depending on the season of the year. The Conservancy is happy to offer a safe refuge to elephant during heightened cases of insecurity in other areas.
A most beloved animal in Kenya, the elephant serves as a symbol of national pride and the country's impressive beauty. The elephant's existence continues to remain threatened by poaching, and in northern Kenya, Lewa is working with its partners and communities to help protect this iconic species, while securing habitat for it to thrive.
Lewa participates actively in anti-poaching efforts in northern Kenya to protect elephant as they move across the landscape. Together with the Northern Rangelands Trust community conservancies and other partners, we are working to make northern Kenya safer for over 6,500 migratory elephants.
Lewa's team carries out joint patrols with NRT's 9-1, 9-2 and the Kenya Wildlife Service in northern Kenya and the Mount Kenya region to monitor the state of the elephant populations.
Lewa's radio room is the central point of communication for northern Kenya's community conservancies. The community conservancies report to our radio room on any incidents involving elephant and consult our anti-poaching unit on follow ups to these incidents. Our team offers reinforcement by sending the rapid reaction unit, tracker dogs and if necessary, aerial support.
Lewa's Anti-Poaching Unit offers training to NRT's community conservancy scouts on elephant monitoring, data collection, field crafts and communication to build their capacity.
In isolation, a conservancy cannot sustain wildlife
Lewa recognises the importance of promoting landscape connectivity for wildlife far beyond its borders. The Conservancy is a key player in protecting elephant in northern Kenya by providing security, habitat management support and community programmes.
We are working with our partners to help protect the elephant's rangeland in northern Kenya, much of which is threatened by human development.
How do you help an elephant cross the road? By building an underpass!
The Mount Kenya Corridor partners, including Lewa, are working to build a second underpass on a busy rural road to promote human-elephant coexistence.
Human development has led to conflict with the elephant as they move, causing collision and putting both human and elephant lives at risk.
Elephant traverse dangerous roads in search of food, water, minerals and mates. These roads often lie along their traditional migration routes. Elephant have excellent memory and have used these migration routes for generations. This will make it easy for them to find the underpass once constructed.
These pictures below illustrate how an underpass works - both humans and elephant are able to move to and fro simultaneously, and most importantly, safely.
Anti-poaching rangers reunite lost elephant calf with its mother
This Tuesday, rangers were informed that a very young elephant calf had wandered off and lost its mother and herd. The Anti-Poaching Team quickly went to the calf's rescue - the herd was over 2 kilometres away when they arrived.
The rangers carefully steered and walked the young calf towards its family until it was very close, and its mother came straight over and took him back! If the calf had not been reunited with its family, its chances of survival would have been very slim. A pride of over 10 lions was on its trail, hoping to have a chance to hunt it down.
This week, we will be sharing some stories of how our Anti-Poaching Team is helping protect elephant in northern Kenya, a population of close to 6,500 animals. Remember, every elephant life counts!
Elephant with gunshot wound makes full recovery
In early 2013, Lewa rangers noticed a young male elephant, estimated to be about 15 years old, limping as a result of a leg injury. The elephant had moved into Lewa through our northern gap a few days before, and its health had rapidly began to deteriorate. Lewa's mobile vet unit was quickly alerted, and Dr. Mutinda, our resident Kenya Wildlife Service vet, treated the young bull. He had been shot in the leg by poachers, but luckily managed to survive the attack.
We are happy to report that post treatment monitoring indicates that the young chap made a full recovery!
"With the population of the African elephant rapidly declining, every individual animal counts in ensuring the survival of the species." Dr. Matthew Mutinda.
Abandoned elephant calf is rescued
Last year, the vet team received a message from the neighbouring Marania Farm that an elephant calf had strayed into their property. The male calf was barely a year old, most likely left abandoned after its mother was killed by poachers.
To ensure the young elephant’s safety, a team from Lewa spearheaded a rescue operation that also included teams from the Kenya Wildlife Service, Marania farm and Mount Kenya Trust. The calf was moved to Lewa and later airlifted to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage in Nairobi. The young calf arrived safely and is reported to be doing well, much to our delight.
Poaching not only leads to the death of individual animals - other detrimental consequences include orphaned wildlife as well as disintegrated family structures as observed in affected elephant herds.
The survival of Africa’s wildlife is on the wire:
But we still have time to change this course of destruction.
For USA donors - click here.
For UK & EU donors - click here.
For Canadian donors - click here.
For the rest of the world - please email Ruwaydah.Abdul@lewa.org.
Lewa and its partners in northern Kenya have found a way – and we invite you to be a part of each step we take to create safe, flourishing wild places in partnership with the communities that maintain them. Over the coming months we will offer you ways to make an investment in this future for northern Kenya's wildlife and its people.
Why does this matter?
With elephant numbers declining dramatically, every animal is vital.
Elephant are also a beacon of what is working in a rangeland; their presence indicates availability of resources such as forage and water, as well as adequate security for wildlife to survive.
Be part of Lewa's landscape level efforts to protect the beloved elephant. Thank you!