Big Life News
The news sends a shiver down Big Life’s collective spine. The knowledge that as we sit, listening to the message, poachers are moving through our area on a deadly mission: to kill elephant ....…Continue
In the escalating war against poaching, there will be battles that we lose, and battles we can win.
So far, in the three and half years of Big Life’s existence, our 315 rangers, spread across 2 million acres of Kenyan and Tanzanian wilderness, have done an incredibly effective job at dramatically reducing poaching in the region.
But in the areas immediately outside the areas that we protect, the animals are still being killed at an alarming rate....
In the dark world of wildlife poaching and black market ivory trading, information is everything.
Several weeks ago, Big Life deployed a team of three rangers and three informers to an area just beyond the edge of our normal operations, where we had heard that poachers were active. Their instructions were simple: wear civilian clothing, blend in and try to find out more....…Continue
The motive was simple: Revenge, and a dead lion won’t kill again.
Several weeks ago, a Maasai pastoralist in the Big Life area lost a donkey to a lion. In return, the ecosystem lost a lion....
One day you’re down, the next you’re up. Losing two elephants to poaching (and now a third in the form of the pregnant female to what may be human/wildlife conflict) since the start of the year has been disheartening, but it’s the positive stories that buoy us at Big Life.
On March 16, a Big Life ranger unit was operating in our area to the south of Amboseli National Park. They came across a lone bull elephant, walking on only three legs and clearly in distress. The rangers got closer, and discovered a deep wound on his badly swollen fourth limb...…Continue
Just south of Amboseli National Park, the slopes of Kilmanjaro descend across the Tanzania border and on towards the Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary. It was here that a herder tending his sheep came across a dead elephant, so fresh that blood was still seeping from its wounds. Even more tragic was that this elephant was a pregnant female, soon to have given birth.
The herder was a relative of one of the Big Life rangers, who he called on his mobile phone. Within an hour, a Big Life team and Kenya Wildlife Service were on the ground....
For more than seven hours, the Big Life Tanzania tracker dogs, Rocky and Jerry, followed the scent trail of the elephant poachers. Supported by a joint team of rangers, Rocky and Jerry tracked the poachers across the savannah, along steep ridges, and over hilly woodlands.
It was Valentine’s Day, but a day filled more with heartbreak than happiness. Earlier in the week, poachers had killed an elephant bull in a critical area of the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem....…Continue
We’ve all read the terrible numbers. Just in Tanzania alone, up to 10,000 elephants are currently being poached for their ivory every year. Some 66% of the population in the Selous Game Reserve alone has been decimated in the past 4 years.
But here is one statistic that hasn’t been reported: ZERO....
A few weeks ago I posted a story on how buoyed the conservation world was with the passing of Kenya's new Wildlife Act. I also mentioned that the hunt was back on for Pekee, the notorious elephant killer - suspected responsible most recently for the death of Qumquat and family - who had skipped his latest court case and bail....…Continue
Some sad news to report. Torn Ear, one of the Chyulus' most famous long-lived elephants, has been killed by poachers....…Continue
Big Life’s Esiteti team of rangers spotted a female elephant and her two year old calf in a thicket all by themselves. Knowing this was unusual, they continued to keep her in sight at nearly all times. After a few days, it was clear that the mother was ill in some way, although she had no visible injuries and was still mobile.....…Continue
The long-awaited, years-in-the-making Kenya Wildlife Act finally passed into law a couple of weeks ago. With it, the ramping up of penalties associated with wildlife crime has already sent shock waves through the poaching/wildllife trade fraternity.
Here are two stories that Big Life prosecutions had in court last week that show how the game is now changed...