The success of the elephant corridor
How do you connect two key elephant habitats with a major highway running through the middle? Easy: create an underpass and don't underestimate the intellingence of an elephant.
The Mount Kenya elephant corridor and underpass was opened at the end of December 2010, and the first, pioneering elephant, to use it was one named 'Tony', who walked the full length of the corridor on 26th January 2011.
His brave steps led the way for many more, and in May & June 2011 alone, 123 elephant have been recorded using the underpass (more of them are bulls than cows, but maybe the bulls are keener to find new mating partners!)
Thanks to Tony, this is now a popular route for elephant, and not only does it connect the two habitats, ensuring wider diversity and mating opportunities in the elephant populations, but it also ensures that they can pass under the major (and very busy) highway that connects Northern Kenya to the rest of the country!
This image shows the corridor outlined in purple, with Mount Kenya to the south of the image. Map courtesy of Laikipia Wildlife Forum.
As you can see on the map, Kisima farm (owned by the Dyer family) has donated part of their farm to the elephant corridor, and despite some unexpected results from the elephants such as the felling of gum trees, the farm owners still believe strongly in the project. These farm owners have effectively turned back the clock for these populations of elephant, a rare commitment from commercial operators in this day and age.
This image shows Tony's route, which was tracked by Save the Elephants - his movements are marked by green dots. Mountain Bull, an elephant who regularly moves up and down the mountain by breaking fences and taking huge risks, is tracked by the red dots. He is now using some of the corridor, which is a great result!
Here at SCC Kenya we are committed to supporting the Mt Kenya Trust, to assist with their Mount Kenya patrol team, which will be mounted on horseback and operational by September 2011. We are hugely excited to be part of this, and hope that you will join us! By coming on safari with SCC Kenya, you are automatically donating to the SCC Conservation Fund, which supports these projects, and if you would like to see any of these projects whilst on safari with us, we will happily make arrangements.