IFAW Africa: Problem Animal Control Work

Due to very heavy rain on the Taita Ranches, elephant habitat, normally Grewia and Acacia, is in leaf on the foot of Taita Hill. Elephants – due to sufficient water and in search of prime habitat and fodder – have left Tsavo West National Park and their dry season feeding areas migrating to the Taita area, which happens to be half ranch and half farmland. This put the elephants into close proximity with crops, which they will take advantage of and also in close proximity with the people who reside on scattered farms in the same area.

This post was filed by Nana Grosse-Woodley from the International Fund for Animal Welfare office in East Africa.

Chasing eles back into park by shopper, c. D.Woodley Due to very heavy rain on the Taita Ranches, elephant habitat, normally Grewia and Acacia, is in leaf on the foot of Taita Hill. Elephants – due to sufficient water and in search of prime habitat and fodder – have left Tsavo West National Park and their dry season feeding areas migrating to the Taita area, which happens to be half ranch and half farmland. This put the elephants into close proximity with crops, which they will take advantage of and also in close proximity with the people who reside on scattered farms in the same area.

Several injuries and two deaths later, both on the human side, Kenya Wildlife Service Tsavo West embarked on a large elephant drive. One hundred rangers on the ground and a helicopter in the air drove over 600 elephants back into the park, leaving only a few persisting herds which continue to feed in the same area and which are deterred from the crops by a small mobile unit of rangers.

Half of the community are in support of the planned Maktau/Manyani fence line and half are opposing it for political reasons revolving around a district boundary dispute. The ones opposing the plan live in towns, whilst the ones for it live on farms and suffer the most.

Rangers involved in this line of work are selected from the first batch of rangers who underwent training and were chosen from outposts and stations strewn all over the country. The training was held at Kenya Wildlife Service Manyani Field Training School and Maktau area and lasted for three months. The training includes para-military refresher, skill at arms, law and policy, community engagement and conflict resolution, methods of deterrent, animal behaviour and ecology, wildlife anatomy and vital shots, trapping and release amongst others.

This was the first of many groups that will undergo this type of training. Eventually it will fit into the Service’s policy and every uniformed ranger and officer will have to undergo refresher/upgrading training courses every three years throughout their career.

For more information about IFAW's work in East Africa, please visit the site.

Photo credit: c. D. Woodley

Comments: 1

 
Anonymous
4 years ago

Oh my goodness! I'm doing a project on the animal.

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