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

161214 1 1 Keeping the (Uninvited) Elephant Out of the Room

There are some places where elephants just don’t fit in. Taking an elevator to the top of the Empire State Building for instance, or chewing on the Queen’s tulips in the Buckingham Palace gardens. They are even less welcome in the smallholder farms across the Amboseli ecosystem, where farmers spend nights in fear of losing an entire season’s produce.

Elephants are getting speared for the trouble they cause, and community tolerance of their presence has been running out fast. But fortunately there is a solution to the problem. The local community came to Big Life with a simple idea, and a request for help. They wanted to raise the capital to build an electric fence to keep their crops safe from elephants. The idea has the added bonus of also keeping the elephants safe from farmer’s spears. Everyone in the ecosystem got behind the idea.

So this summer, Big Life put out an appeal to its donors - $400,000 to construct Phase One, the first 40 km of this critically important line of protection. Our donors came through for us again. The idea became reality.

As a result, there are two fence construction teams currently working non-stop to complete what is now going to be closer to 55 kilometers of fencing as soon as possible, and 25% of the total distance is in various stages of completion. The most critical section will keep a migratory corridor open for wildlife where farms are rapidly narrowing the gap.

The fence is specifically designed to resist the attention of elephants - low and sturdy with electrified wires jutting out to prevent an elephant getting close enough to push the fence over.

This is just the start, and if we want a long-term future for elephants in Amboseli, then we will need to support further barriers. But where the fence is currently being constructed, farmers will be able to sleep at night, and elephants will be restricted to those places where they are more welcome.

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