Human population growth and encroachment on historic elephant rangelands, paired with deforestation and poaching are leading to a dramatic decrease in the elephant population. In fact, the illegal killing of elephants is at its highest level since the international ivory trade ban.
The Mara Elephant Project employ anti-poaching patrols and rapid response units consisting of 57 highly trained rangers. Elephant collaring, monitoring and research accompany this important strategy. The project has collared 48 elephants in the Mara ecosystem since 2011, collecting data to monitor elephant herds’ movements. This data informs patrol planning and, and such, has reduced poaching levels dramatically.
The Mara Elephant Project also focus on mitigating human-elephant conflict for the benefit of both elephants and communities. The Karen Blixen Camp Trust helicopter has enabled the Mara Elephant Project to increase their rapid response time. Additionally, rangers deploy flash bangs, bright lights and vehicles to move elephants out of farms and into safety. In this same vein, the Mara Elephant Project recognise the importance of community engagement and education to harmonious co-existence. Projects are designed specifically to emphasise the benefits that accrue to the local community as a result of the wildlife and associated tourism.
Suzanne Fehsenfeld was moved to found Sidekick Foundation in 2011 by her vision to enact wildlife conservation through the collaboration of world-class talent and local expertise. Suzanne’s frequent African travels to the Maasai Mara inspired Sidekick’s first initiative, the Mara Elephant Project, which she founded to protect the region’s African elephants.
Wild Philanthropy supports projects with an emphasis on ecosystem conservation, community engagement, and responsible tourism such as the Mara Elephant Project. Wild Philanthropy’s grant helps to fund essential ranger training and innovative solutions to reduce human-elephant conflict. Our support therefore enables the Mara Elephant Project to fulfil their mission of protecting elephants and conserving the greater Mara ecosystem.