240612 Protecting Esau
Back in March, we shared the extraordinary story of Esau
, a Super Tusker whose impressive tusks weigh over 100 pounds each, marking him as one of the rarest and most magnificent elephants left in Africa. Esau’s lineage is equally remarkable—he is the nephew of Echo, one of Amboseli’s most celebrated matriarchs. His story is a testament to the legacy of Amboseli’s elephants, meticulously documented by the longest running study on wild elephants at the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.

After receiving veterinary treatment for a wound and getting fitted with a tracking collar, Esau’s journey took him deep into Tanzania, where he spent six critical weeks navigating the challenges of a region where the threats to elephants like him are escalating. Our mission to safeguard Esau and his fellow elephants becomes even more complex when they cross these invisible borders, where policies are different.

In Tanzania, the resumption of trophy hunting in certain areas poses a significant threat to this cross-border elephant population. Since last September, five elephants have been killed by hunters, two of which are known to be Super Tuskers. Esau’s time in Tanzania underscores the peril he faces and the urgent need for continued vigilance and innovative conservation strategies.

Big Life’s rangers and our partners are monitoring his movements. The tracking collar provided by the Mara Elephant Project, in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service and Wildlife Research and Training Institute, has been critical to that end. Having a collar designates him as a research animal, which should offer a layer of protection against trophy hunters.

Keeping Esau and the rest of Amboseli’s elephants safe demands unwavering dedication. Our rangers face numerous challenges daily, from patrolling vast and often remote areas, to intercepting poachers and responding to threats swiftly. The data from Esau’s collar is invaluable, providing insights into his movements and behavior, which will also inform broader conservation strategies.

None of this would be possible without the support of our partners and the generosity of our donors. Your contributions ensure that we can continue to protect these magnificent creatures. Esau’s story is not just about one elephant; it is about the collective effort to preserve an endangered species and their environment. Together, we can ensure that the legacy of Amboseli’s elephants endures for generations to come.

Donate to protect Amboseli's elephants.