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Wildlife and Conservation

9/1/2016

CREATIVE ELEPHANT REPELLANT IN TANZANIA

As reported by the Honeyguide Foundation, a little after midnight on a Tuesday in June a young bull elephant wandered out of the boundaries of Tarangire National Park and was foraging in near silence, munching on corn in a family farm.

 

It didn't take long before a bright flashing light appeared in the distance, followed by the screeching of an air horn. While these unfamiliar lights and loud noises would usually be enough to inspire an elephant's retreat, this male was unfazed. A few minutes later, an object shot through the air, burst open with a bang, and a cloud of chili powder overtook the elephant's senses. He quickly turned, and disappeared back into the safety of the national park.

 

Why would these villagers shower elephants with chili powder? In order to save their lives. When an elephant wanders onto a villager's farm, it can have a devastating effect: A single elephant can destroy a family's food supply for the entire year in one night, trample property, and threaten their safety.

 

In the past, when an elephant made a wrong turn and found itself in a community garden, a villager used the only defense he had against a five-ton animal: a spear. A direct hit was always enough to chase her away...and make sure she would never come back. More than likely, she retreated into the park before succumbing to her wounds after a few days.

 

 

 

But these villagers now have a better — if slightly unorthodox — way to redirect elephants away from their crops. Honeyguide Foundation, with critical support from The Nature Conservancy, has created a unique, four-step elephant alarm system to protect the community's food source without harming the elephant. 

 

 

 

MAP IVES

 

What has inspired Map Ives, Wilderness Safaris' Environmental Director since 1992 to dedicate his life and work to Botswana and its wildlife? The answer seems to unequivicably be the landscape. "Northern Botswana is the most beautiful place on Earth and that's the reason I've been here so long. When I first saw the Delta about 35 years ago, I thought, 'This is it, I'm not going any further.' They'll have to bury me in the clay here, and I just hope I can leave this place in a better way than it was when I arrived." This sense of connection to place is clearly a driving factor behind Map's involvement with the successful program for the reintroduction of rhinos into Botswana. "What we have is like an Ark, we're bringing those rhino and other animals to safety, we are bringing them to higher ground.'" Click here to read the complete interview with the legendary Map Ives.

 

THE RETURN OF AKILI

Akili's story started in January 2014 when her mother, Lippy, and another lioness, Sila, went hunting and brought down a hippo. The two lionesses, three month old Akili, and her two siblings were enjoying this hearty meal when they were attacked by a group of lionesses from a neighboring pride. During the chaos, Lippy, Sila and the other two cubs retreated but Akili ran in the opposite direction, separating herself from her mother and pride.

 

Her chances of surviving on her own were slim at best, and hope was fading fast. After nine days of searching, guides at Governor's Camp finally sighted her and immediately alerted the Kenyan Wildlife Services (KWS). Taking swift action, the KWS team managed to track her down, gather her up in a blanket and return her to her family.

 

After her return, there was a split in the pride and, together with her mother and some of the other members, Akili crossed the Mara River and Governors' Camp lost contact with the now-famous rescued lion cub.

 

Now, the team is thrilled to announce that the splinter group that broke off all those years ago has returned to the vicinity of Governor's Camp and little Akili has grown into a beautiful healthy lioness  -  rewarding guests and staff with lovely sightings of herself, her mother Lippy, her aunts, brothers, cousins and her tiny cub sister.

 

 

 

 

NORTH ISLAND SEA TURTLE SUCCESS

North Island, Seychelles is delighted to report two consecutive record-breaking seasons for sea turtle nesting on the Island's beaches, with the emergence of 216 endangered Green Turtles and 205 critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles.

 

 

 

 


9/1/2016
Sighting of the Quarter
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