The population of wild elephants in Kenya has risen by more than 50% since 1989, it has been revealed. DW reported that while only 16,000 of the animals roamed the country in 1989, it’s now home to more than 34,000 elephants, according to Kenya Wildlife Service Director John Waweru. If that’s not amazing progress, I don’t know what is!
- It all comes down to anti-poaching efforts. African elephants have been ruthlessly hunted for their ivory tusks since the 1970s, when the continent had a whopping 1.3 million of the beautiful creatures roaming free. In 2020, that number has dwindled to about 350,000. Kenya has worked hard to keep poachers at bay, reporting only 7 deaths this year compared to 34 last year and 80 the year before that. “In the past couple of years, we have managed to tame poaching in this country,” said Najib Balala, Kenya’s Tourism Minister.
- This is an incredible celebration. Kenya’s boom in elephant numbers should be and is an inspiration to other African nations hoping to tame poaching and encouraging populations to proliferate. And, given that Africa’s elephant population went down by a whopping 30% in only seven years, these efforts are more than necessary.
- World Elephant Day made a new initiative possible. At the Elephant Collaring Exercise at Amboseli, an elephant conservation and management event, it was announced by Balala that a new initiative was also being launched. “Today we are also launching the Magical Kenya elephant naming campaign, an annual festival whose objective will be to collect funds from the naming, to support the Rangers welfare. This year alone, about 170 elephant calves have been born,” he said.
- Here’s hoping more of these majestic animals will be roaming the continent soon. Kenya’s story is an incredible success and with hard work and perseverance, there’s no doubt that the elephant population can recover and even flourish. Here’s hoping!
In celebrating the #WorldElephantDay, I took part in an Elephant Collaring Exercise, at Amboseli. We collared the young bull, so that we can understand and monitor the movement patterns of the herd, for Elephant conservation and management. #wildlifeKE pic.twitter.com/f7mzlcsp9p
— Najib Balala (@tunajibu) August 12, 2020