240221 TJ James Lewin

It will take time to fully process our data from the last year, but looking at the numbers from the 4th quarter in context of all that came before, I’m proud of our team and what we accomplished. 

Last year, our rangers confiscated more than 1,000 kg of ivory and more than 2,000 kg of sandalwood. They helped rescue dozens of animals and arrested more than 150 suspects engaged in illegal wildlife crimes. These are just a few of our impressive numbers from last year, and we look forward to sharing more soon.

In the meantime, one number that stands out from December is something I don’t recall ever recording before: zero crop raids by elephants. We can attribute this to an abundance of natural food sources following the good rains, but also the cumulative efforts of our rangers and our crop-protection fencing really paying off.

In our work to protect habitat, we’ve signed conservation leases with thousands of Maasai landowners to help protect critical natural areas. Thanks to our supporters, we’re moving forward on our partnership with the local community to protect the Nairrabala corridor on Olgulului. In addition to signing leases, we’re also hiring rangers and planning for the future of this 37,000-acre connection between Amboseli National Park and the conservancies to the north.

Sadly, we ended the year on a somber note, having lost two of our star employees unexpectedly: Agnes Sopilal, our first female ranger, and Joan Seleyian, who was inspirational in her work to bring critical health services to remote parts of our area of operation. Their loss continues to be felt deeply by all whose lives they touched.

I am, as ever, amazed by and grateful for our supporters from around the world, for stepping up to help us address the challenges we’re facing in Amboseli, and for recognizing that what’s happening here has significance for the broader world, regardless of whether you ever get to visit this incredible place. That said, we hope you do! You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you for everything.


Richard Bonham
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Big Life Kenya

Photo: James Lewin