62 ELEPHANT GET RELOCATED INTO THE MASAI MARA


Information was sourced from Nairobi that the recently mentioned relocation of a herd of elephant from the Narok District in Kenya into the Masai Mara Game Reserve has been concluded earlier in the week, after a total of 62 animals, instead of the initially envisaged 50 had been captured and taken into the park.

Increasing wildlife human conflicts have emerged in the recent past in Kenya where a growing population and their demand for food has eaten into the wilderness areas where previously game could roam undisturbed, as new settlements reach ever deeper into such parts of the country and where more farmland is opened up to grow food. These developments have also in many places across Kenya cut off the traditional migration routes of game and while some attempts have been made to keep the most crucial game corridors open, this is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. The best examples are the challenges of keeping the migration going between the Nairobi National Park across the Athi plains to wilderness areas as far as Amboseli or the Chyulu Hills, but also between the Aberdare National Park and Mt. Kenya National Park, which are now in fact being fenced off to keep game inside, hindering the migration habits imprinted on the animals mind. Further north the age old corridors between Marsabit, across the Matthews range into the Laikipia plains, where the trails would have joined the Aberdare / Mt. Kenya game highway too are now becoming built up, causing increasing concerns over the future of game management to confine the herds or to let them roam as in olden days.

KWS had targeted some 200 elephant to be captured and relocated to the Mara and with the first batch now settling in some monitoring will be going on to see how the animals settle down and how their movements are, aided by radio collars through which they can be tracked.

It is understood that the affected communities have expressed relief over the departure of the elephant, many of which regularly raided small farms and posed a daily danger to the people who moved into these areas.

Compiled by Jackie
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