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

160917 1 1 Famous Tusker Gets Hi Tech Necklace

Just three months ago, Tim, the biggest tusker in the ecosystem, was speared. For the second time. He had once again raided crops in an area of wildlife habitat increasingly compromised by the invasion of farmland, motivating the farmer to hurl a spear in frustration.

Fortunately, rangers from Big Life and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) units, and Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) research staff initiated searches. Aerial surveillance was deployed. After three hours, Tim was spotted from the air. Thanks to the fantastic response of everyone involved- along with Big Life, ATE, KWS, DSWT, and Tawi Lodge- enough manpower and vehicles were on hand to quickly and safely roll Tim onto his correct side for treatment. Tim, now 47 years old and first named by Cynthia Moss of ATE, got to live another day.

But as elephants with huge tusks become increasingly rare across the African continent, killed by both poachers and angry farmers, Tim, with his tusks ranked among the biggest, has become increasingly vulnerable (and famous). Big Life and KWS animal control units have chased Tim from farms literally hundreds of times, but he keeps returning. It was only a matter of time before he would be killed.

And so several conservation organisations pulled together to find a solution. Save the Elephants rose to the occasion by delivering the technology - a satellite collar that tells us in actual live time where he is and even better, sets an alarm when he a leaves the protected areas and is approaching farmland. This in turn will trigger a response from KWS and Big Life teams to turn him back before he gets there.

Since the collaring a week ago, Tim has behaved, and not left Amboseli Park so we have not had a chance to test the process, but we are sure that it will work. If it does then hopefully we will be able to use the same technology to target other 'problem elephants' to keep them out of crops and out of trouble.

That all sounds very simple, but it was a massive exercise getting all the moving parts in place. It was made possible by Scott Asen and Wildlife Direct, who made funds available for the monitoring, so a huge thank you to them.

Photo caption: Top image captured by David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust when Tim was first treated for a spear wound last year. Bottom image captured after Tim was recently collared.

Share This
 
80% to 100% of Proceeds go to Big Life
January 22, 2018

THE FACES OF CONSERVATION SUCCESS

We’re excited to share some good news: the recent addition of seven cubs to one of the lion prides that once again roams the Chyulu Hills. 15 years ago, the last known lion pride in the Chyulu Hills was staring down the… Read More
Rest in peace Jagged Ear
December 21, 2017

REST IN PEACE, JAGGED EAR

It hurts to lose a friend, particularly one that has been around for so long. He lived through the ivory crisis of the 1980’s, and he just about lived through this one. We don’t know how it happened, only that he was… Read More
poachers strike with a silent weapon
December 10, 2017

POACHERS STRIKE WITH A SILENT WEAPON

It’s hard to hide a dead elephant. And it’s not common to have reason to, unless you’ve killed it of course. The poachers were professionals, they knew that the Big Life informer network would quickly report the… Read More
An Update Fron Our Director
October 31, 2017

AN UPDATE FROM OUR DIRECTOR (Q3 2017)

The end of the dry season is always a tense time for both people and wildlife, everything is in short supply, which manifests itself in many different ways. Hungry wildlife push the boundaries leaving safe areas in… Read More
A Maasai in Jackson Hole
October 22, 2017

A MAASAI IN JACKSON HOLE

By Daniel ole Sambu A few weeks ago, I was privileged to represent Big Life at the Jackson Hole WILD and Conservation Summit. It’s not your typical conference. Rather than focusing on PowerPoint presentations, Jackson… Read More
Protecting a Prehistoric Tank
September 22, 2017

PROTECTING A PREHISTORIC TANK

It’s been two years and 3 days since we lost Bahati, the young rhino that died after an epic effort to save his life after he was trapped in a snare. It was a terrible moment, but one that motivated us further in our… Read More
Keeping Tim Out Of Trouble: One Year On
September 20, 2017

KEEPING TIM OUT OF TROUBLE: ONE YEAR ON

It’s been one year since Big Life worked with Kenya Wildlife Service, WildlifeDirect, Save the Elephants and Amboseli Trust for Elephants to collar Tim, the beautiful Amboseli tusker and frequent crop-raider. Since then… Read More