Big Life Foundation
Facebook icon twitter square red 64x Instagram Vimeo  DONATE

140731 1 1 Big Life Confiscates Ivory in Sting Operation

 Breaking up an ivory supply chain is like fishing. At the bottom there are the small fish, numerous but by no means harmless: the elephant killers, living amongst us. These we catch with our wide, sweeping net of community rangers. 

 As you move up the chain, the fish get fewer, but they get bigger and more important: the dealers.

 To catch these people you need different tactics. They are masters of camouflage, and to bring them out of hiding requires carefully crafted lures. Human ones.

 Last week we sent a small undercover team, in co-ordination with Kenya Wildlife Service, to one of the commercial hubs of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem. But these men were on no ordinary shopping trip; they were posing as ivory buyers. 

 Through a trusted intermediary, our men had already set up a meeting, but there is never any telling if the lure has been successful, or if you have been played. In this case, the approach of a motorbike suggested the former.

 These sting operations are always tense and highly risky. The dealer arrived with six pieces of ivory, four complete tusks and two broken pieces. At least two dead elephants. Unfortunately the dealer caught wind that something was amiss. He had chosen a favourable location, and managed to get away from our small team.

 Despite this, the operation was a huge success. It took place beyond the limits of our normal operating area, but we know that this well used ivory route needs more attention. In fact, this area will in the very near future be well covered by our mobile rapid response unit, due to launch in the next month, and these undercover operations are laying the foundation.

 As for this ivory dealer, we confiscated the tusks and his motorbike, and now have the evidence that we need. We know who he is, and will be working to catch him. Ivory trading can be a lucrative business, but we are making sure that it is an unwise one.

 - Jeremy Goss, Big Life Kenya

Share This
 
80% to 100% of Proceeds go to Big Life
160213 1 1 Ranger of the Month January 2016
February 13, 2016

RANGER OF THE MONTH: JANUARY 2016

It’s hard to think straight when you’ve got a lion on your roof, but a warrior’s spear had already glanced off the car and Seiko had to act fast. He put his foot down and the little Suzuki 4x4 went crashing through the… Read More
150519 1 1 Ranger of the Month April 2015 Moloimet Legos
May 19, 2015

BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, APRIL 2015: MOLOIMET LEGOS

It was early morning. The young men moved swiftly through the bush. The tracks were fresh and the warriors moved fast, excitement building as they anticipated the combat ahead. By mid afternoon, the warriors found their… Read More
141206 1 1 Ranger of the Month November 2014 Senior Sergeant Lekina Olempumpu
December 06, 2014

BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2014: SENIOR SERGEANT LEKINA OLEMPUMPU

Anti-poaching rangers are strong, courageous individuals. They spend whole days patrolling the bush, tracking poachers, and keeping the peace between wildlife and humans. It takes an even stronger character to lead… Read More
141002 1 1 Ranger of the Month August Dickson Ntawuasa
October 02, 2014

BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, AUGUST: DICKSON NTAWUASA

A rhino named Dickson, who would have thought? Certainly not the man himself when he stepped in his new position as a ranger 22 years ago.There were only ten rangers back then, a motley crew starting off in a role never… Read More