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Conservation & Wildlife Security

Visit to Reteti

Opened in August 2020, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is the first community owned elephant orphanage in Africa. Located in Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy in Samburu, the sanctuary is designed to rescue and release orphaned and abandoned elephant calves, whilst creating much needed benefits to the local people that live alongside them.

On the 3rd of this month, 10 members of Loisaba’s security department had the opportunity to visit Reteti, and see how the three calves (Longuro, Loketu and Sikampi) they bravely rescued at Loisaba earlier this year were getting on. They are all doing well, and have adapted fully to their new home in Reteti where they receive dedicated care from a passionate team.

Loteku

“Love is an important part of caring for the calves; we care for them like our own children. We spend most of the time with them than our own families and that has made us be so attached to them that we feel sad whenever they are translocated to Sera because of the bond we have created with them. Reteti has proved that the biggest enemies according to the communities, can be great friends, that is elephants and human beings. We as Reteti hope that the released elephants will one day reconnect with their family members, either the mothers, brothers, sisters or cousins” said Naomi Leshonguro, one of the elephant keepers at Reteti.

The Loisaba team were very impressed by the work Reteti is doing to ensure that elephants survive, despite losing or being abandoned by their mothers, and what they are doing to improve the standards of living of the surrounding communities.

Community

Health

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are continuing to support our local communities. Two outreach clinics were conducted this month (15th and 22nd) at neighbouring towns with little access to healthcare, with a total of 119 patients treated. They were also educated about COVID-19 with the team giving information on the symptoms and preventative measures, including teaching the children social distancing. This brings the total number of patients attended to in 2020 by our Clinical Health Officer Kaltuma to 976.

Loisaba’s Clinical Health Officer, Kaltuma, treating patients at KMC.

 

Security

In addition to providing healthcare, Loisaba continues to support the local communities with any security related incidences that require assistance. This month, our Security Manager received information from community members regarding an attack on two bomas (cattle corals), where 66 cattle were stolen. Our Rapid Response Team was immediately mobilised at 4am in order to help track down the stolen herd, with our plane joining the search at sunrise. Eight cattle and two donkeys were recovered after a short period of time, and the operation was taken over shortly after by the Wamba Police Department and the Area Chief.

Photo of the Month

© Taro Croze

If you have any photos from your stay at Loisaba that you would like featuring on our social media, please email them stating how you would like it to be credited to Hannah at communications@loisaba.com!

By Max Silvester

On the 25th of June our ranger team, having sighted a large bull elephant with an obvious limp, began a monitoring and surveillance operation. When it became apparent that the bull’s injury and obvious discomfort was not subsiding any time soon, the call was made for further action – a KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) vet team was brought in with the aim of darting the pachyderm, examining the wound, and administrating the appropriate medicine – no mean feat!

 

 

This huge elephant (a fully mature bull) luckily dropped to the ground in a manner that allowed for the vet team to get to work on the obviously swollen front left foot. Had the elephant fallen awkwardly, it would have been a huge uphill battle to move him. Even the usual method using four-wheel drive cars and ropes would have struggled to shift his immense mass.

 

 

It became obvious that the wound was caused by a bullet which had entered the foot having grazed the trunk. This shot could have been fired in one of the regions where human wildlife conflict continues to plague both wildlife and human populations alike. Another theory advocates that this wound is the result of a botched poaching attempt, which aligns with the fact this individual elephant was sporting huge tusks by modern Laikipia’s standards, estimated to weigh up to 40 kg. Luckily the intelligence of this bull, in moving quickly to a place of safety Loisaba Conservancy, allowed the rangers and the vet team to assure his wound was treated successfully and he continues to roam Laikipia as a testament to his forefathers, the huge tuskers before him.

 

 

Meanwhile our ranger team (with a few remaining to monitor the elephant) rushed off to treat a giraffe with a split hoof, showing that as the world limps out of lockdowns induced by the virus, wildlife operations continue regardless – full steam ahead.

If you would like to help us maintain zero poaching levels, keep our rangers on the ground, protect endangered species and support local communities who have no access to healthcare, please donate today. Even a small donation will make a huge difference to Loisaba’s conservation and community development work.

 

 

Conservation & Wildlife Security

Elephant Rescue

At the beginning of this month, two elephant calves were rescued by Loisaba’s security team and were flown to Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in partnership with KWS and Tropic Air. Read more about their rescue here!

World Giraffe Day

On the 21st, World Giraffe Day was celebrated here at Loisaba’s Conservation Centre with a small group of community members and Loisaba employees. All COVID-19 protocols were followed, and the group learned about the work San Diego Zoo Global are doing to help save this iconic species.

Community

Health

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are continuing to support our local communities. Two outreach clinics were conducted this month (5th and 26th) at neighbouring towns with little access to healthcare, with a total of 98 patients treated for minor illnesses. They were also educated about COVID-19 with the team giving information on the symptoms and preventative measures, including teaching the children social distancing and donating masks. This brings the total number of patients attended to in 2020 by our Clinical Health Officer Kaltuma to 857.

Loisaba’s Clinical Health Officer, Kaltuma, distributing face masks made by the Chui Mamas.

 

Security

On the 4th of this month, Loisaba’s security and aircraft were involved in the recovery of cattle stolen from one of our neighbouring community members. The following message was left on our Facebook page regarding the mission:

“Loisaba Conservancy be blessed always. Today we witnessed a lot after Loisaba Conservancy assisted the community around after some cattle were stolen… the cattle (belonging to Lepiile) were today stolen by unknown rustlers. It was a bit tricky as the rustlers vanished to God-knows-where but wonders happened after Loisaba Conservancy intervened. Loisaba came in with an aircraft led by the most heroic security manager Daniel Yiankere. They followed the stolen cattle by plane and were able to locate and recover them. The community sends their joy for this kind of help and this is how neighbours should be treating each other always. This is not the first time this team has assisted the community as we have seen and received foodstuffs and other essential items from their generosity during this rough time that we are experiencing. Once again Loisaba Conservancy the community wishes to appreciate you for all that you have been doing for them.” – Lekimain Denis.

We were grateful to receive the message and were pleased that we were able to provide support to our neighbours.

Community members thanking the Loisaba team after the recovery of their cattle.

 

Photos of the Month

 

Most liked Instagram Post:

 

Most liked Facebook Post:

© Taro Croze

 

If you have any photos from your stay at Loisaba that you would like featuring on our social media, please email them stating how you would like it to be credited to Hannah at communications@loisaba.com!

 

By Hannah Campbell

Loisaba Conservancy sits on the western edge of one of Kenya’s most important elephant movement corridors – connecting Loisaba to Samburu, 100 km to the north-east.

Elephants are extremely important to Kenya. Not only do they have significant roles in ecological dynamics, they are also highly charismatic and serve as a rallying point for conservation. Due to the fact that they require large areas of ecosystems to be conserved, protecting elephants also means protecting the hundreds of other endangered and vulnerable species that they share their space with.

© Loisaba Conservancy (Oryx Ltd.)

Elephants are particularly vulnerable to population decline due to their slow reproductive rate. Elephants do not reach sexual maturity (and therefore start to breed) until between 12 and 14 years of age and when they do conceive, the gestation period is almost 2 years (20 months) with the mother producing one calf at a time. The baby is then dependent on its mother for feeding for the next two to three years, and the mother does not typically have another calf until the previous one is around 4 years of age.

Compare this to a lion. Lions reach sexual maturity at two years old, and have a gestation period of 3.5 months which usually results in 2 – 5 cubs every two years. This means a single female lion cub can produce five more lions in two years (each of which can then produce a further five in two years etc.). For a single elephant to cause the birth of an additional five calves, it would take approximately 32 years.

This slow reproductive rate of elephants means that elephant calves are particularly important, which is a fact known by Loisaba’s security team – who will protect them at all costs.

So far this year, three elephant calves have been rescued by Loisaba’s security team and sent to Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in partnership with KWS and Tropic Air.

Longuro

On Saturday 18th April, our security team was called to the rescue of a baby elephant that had fallen into a well on a neighbouring property and attacked by hyenas, resulting in the loss of most of his trunk.

Our Loisaba rangers managed to free him from the well and transported him back to Loisaba, where he was flown to Reteti by Tropic Air. He is receiving the critical care that he needs and hopefully one day be released back into the wild.

He is doing remarkably well at Reteti, and has been named ‘Longuro’ – meaning ‘someone who has lost a limb’ in Samburu.

Longuro at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary. Photo © Katie Rowe

 

Loteku

Just after sunset on the 30th May, one of the Loisaba rangers reported that a young elephant had been unable to keep up with its herd as they crossed the Ewaso Narok river that evening. The young calf had been swept downstream towards a waterfall, and was struggling to stay afloat. A team led by Loisaba’s security manager Daniel Yiankere were deployed to the river, where two rangers bravely jumped into the cold, raging river in order to pull him out.

Luckily he had no physical injuries, but he was weak and his herd was nowhere to be found. After consultation with KWS and Reteti, the decision was made to bring the calf to Loisaba Headquarters for the night where he was carefully monitored until morning when a Tropic Air plane arrived to transport him safely to Reteti. He is settling in well and has been named Loteku – meaning ‘the rescued one’.

Loketu at Loisaba Airstrip.

 

Sikampi

The day after Loketu was rescued from the river, another elephant calf was spotted alone. Estimated to be one year old, he was monitored by the Loisaba rangers for three days. It was reported that he had joined a group of elephants, but was then found alone again the following day. His condition seemed to be deteriorating – he was becoming malnourished and seemed to be blind in his left eye.

Sikampi settling in at Reteti. Photo © Katie Rowe

On the 3rd June, a vet from KWS assisted the Loisaba rangers in darting and transporting the calf to the Loisaba airstrip, where he was airlifted to Reteti elephant orphanage to join Loketu. He has already made new friends in the orphan herd and has been going out browsing with them.

Loisaba rangers wishing Sikampi a safe journey. © Loisaba Conservancy

 

In addition to these calves, Loisaba also aided in the rescue of a bull elephant in the neighbouring Nannapa Conservancy on the 16th of April – see photos and read more here.

If you would like to support these courageous rangers who work tirelessly to protect the wildlife at Loisaba, please donate today. Even a small donation will make a huge difference.

Conservation and Wildlife Security

In partnership with The Peregrine Fund and Lion Landscapes, Loisaba hosted a Community Coexistence Training course at Loisaba for members of the surrounding communities. The training is designed to teach communities about the dangers and negative effects of poisoning to humans and their livestock, whilst providing individuals with the skills and knowledge to better protect their livestock and to therefore reduce retaliation killing of carnivores.

36 people from Koija, Kirimon and Il Motiok received the training. These communities were targeted as they experience high levels of human-carnivore conflict due to living adjacent to wildlife conservancies and ranches.

The training is part of the Coexistence Co-op, which is a partnership between Lion Landscapes and The Peregrine Find to reduce livestock lost to large carnivores, and stop the resultant use of highly toxic pesticides to kill ‘problem’ carnivores, and that indiscriminately poison critically endangered vultures.

Photos of the Month

Most liked Instagram photo:

Elephant © Hannah Campbell

Most liked Facebook photo:

Reticulated Giraffe © Peter Ekidor

 

Best Caption:

@gabriellafrancesca94: ‘I told you to stop and ask for directions Hank, now we’re going to be late!’

If you have any photos from your stay at Loisaba that you would like featuring on our social media, please email them stating how you would like it to be credited to Hannah at communications@loisaba.com!

 

 

By Hannah Campbell

Conservation and Wildlife Security

Earlier this month, our Conservation Officer, Horris Wanyama, attended an Elephant Monitoring Training Workshop lead by Save The Elephants in order to standardise elephant identification and monitoring methods across the landscape.

Save The Elephants, who are based up in Samburu, also shared their existing database of identified elephants. This is helpful as some of the elephants that we see at Loisaba make the 100 km journey up to Sera in Samburu, and could be unnecessarily identified twice if it wasn’t for this shared database.

Horris has been working with the rest of the conservation department in order to add to the database of elephant ID’s at Loisaba, with 52 females and 44 males currently identified.

Map to show elephants known as Kimita and Sankata at Loisaba during October 2019. Map © Space for Giants

Map to show Kimita and Sankata traveling through Isiolo to Samburu from 4th – 12th November 2019. Map © Space for Giants

Map to show Kimita and Sankata in Samburu at the beginning of this year. Map © Space for Giants

 

Community

After the successful Baotree trial in November and December last year, Koija community benefitted from the installation of predator proof bomas to 15 households as well as a five day healthcare training workshop that covered prevention of disease, basic first aid, nutrition and health and the dangers of drug abuse. Read more about Baotree here.

A big thank you to Paul (Community Officer) and Lenguya (SDZG Leopard Conservation Program) for organising the deployment of the bomas and the Loisaba workshop team for building them, to Kaltuma (Clinical Health Officer) and Paul for organising and implementing the health care workshop and to Dimitri (Baotree founder) for making it possible.

Installation of a predator proof boma

 

Healthcare workshop

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Jillian Gann, we were also able to host two medical outreach clinics this month in Sagumai (8th Feb) and Morijo (22nd Feb), attending to a total of 192 patients. If you would like to contribute towards this critical healthcare for our local communities, help us reach our $10,000 goal for 2020 here.

Kaltuma and Jennifer treating patients at Morijo

 

Research

This month, our research team moved into their new offices! The team started with just two employees in 2017 on the SDZG Twiga Walinzi project. With the addition of the Leopard Conservation Program and four more employees, the team of six (along with their equipment) needed a larger working space for their research.

“On behalf of the entire team here, I would like to send a warm thank you to all. This is the best office ever with enough space for all of us, enough for all our equipment and the breeze outside is just so refreshing. The WiFi is also very good and we no longer need to use LAN cables. Thanks so much to Tom, Hannah, Richard, Gichuru, Njuguna and all that made the renovations happen.” – Symon Masiaine, Twiga Walinzi Conservation Coordinator

Symon Masiaine (Twiga Walinzi Conservation Coordinator)

Lexson (Twiga Walinzi), Anthony (Twiga Walinzi), Limo (Leopard Conservation Program) and Lenguya (Leopard Conservation Program) in their new office.

 

Photos of the Month

Most liked Instagram photo:

Marico Sunbird © Peter Ekidor

Most liked Facebook photo:

Leopard © Taro Croze

If you have any photos from your stay at Loisaba that you would like featuring on our social media, please email them stating how you would like it to be credited to Hannah at communications@loisaba.com!