Tsavo Trust took possession of Super Cub 5Y NRF on 4th December 2017. This was made possible by generous funding support from the Oak Foundation and the Davies Family. A huge thank you to them.
The Super Cub is an ideal aircraft for the type of flying required on aerial reconnaissance flights over Tsavo during Big Tusker Project operations. Slow, low level flight allows for effective reconnaissance by both the pilot and a rear seat observer. The Super Cub is also a relatively inexpensive aircraft to operate, providing an essential and highly effective element to the Big Tusker Project.
Thanks to the support of Forix Foundation, another 1 acre Beehive Fence has just been completed on a farm in Kamungi Conservancy, close to the boundary of Tsavo East National Park.
With the start of the rainy season kicking in elephant crop raiders are expected to increase once crops mature. This is always a serious challenge for KWS and Tsavo Trust along the Kamungi Conservancy boundary with TENP. Beehive Fences, pioneered by Dr. Lucy King's Elephants and Bees Project and Save The Elephants, have proved to successfully deter elephants from raiding farmers crops.
On the 17th of November 2017, two Kamungi Community scouts successfully passed out from the two month Wildlife Conservancy Supervisor's Course at the KWS Law Enforcement Academy at Manyani in Tsavo. The course covered the following subjects; Drill, Bush Craft, First Aid, General Law, Battle Porcedure Order, Disaster Management, Method of Instructional Technique, Radio communication, Leadership, Fitness Training, Wildlife Education, Wildlife Act and Land Navigation.
Senior KWS officials at the event included KWS Deputy Director of Parks and Reserves, and Commandant of the KWS Law Enforcement Academy.
The Kamungi Water Project on the northern boundary of Tsavo East in southern Kenya, is proving to be a great success, and has been very well received with community members visiting the water dispensing kiosk in Ngiluni village every day to collect clean water.
A week after the official opening of the Water Project, Stuart Herd, founding Board Member of Tsavo Trust visited the central water point of the Kamungi Water Project. During his visit, Stuart donated a solar charging system to Kamungi Conservancy to be installed at the water dispensing kiosk which will allow for community members to charge devices such as mobile phones.
Communities living near Kamunyu and Ngiluni villages in Kamungi Conservancy have faced the hardship of a lack of accessible clean water for many years. Traditionally, water is collected by women and children from hand dug wells, or from the Athi river, requiring walks of many kilometres to collect dirty water in 20 litre containers, to be carried back to their homes.
Jonathan Truss is deeply concerned about the plight of elephants, so many times the subject of his paintings, but in his latest he has attempted a world first - to paint a life sized "Big Tusker" elephant on canvas! This unique painting is now on sale, and the artist is accepting offers directly via his website.
Date photographed 20th June 2017, at Mudanda water hole in Tsavo East NP.
Richard Moller took the photos in the company of Tusk Senior Officials – Charlie Mayhew and Dr Samantha Corsellis.
As the small cow / calf herd approached the water hole we noticed one calf to be very different in colour to the others. Once in the water and the Tsavo dust washed off, it became apparent that this little male ele calf was pink and close to looking albino. His eye lashes were long and pale, his skin very pink, even his eyes seemed a different colour.
What was interesting is that his mother took extreme care of him, not letting him move more than a meter from her – as if she realised something was different.
Most hives are fully occupied, fences are being weighed down with honey. Now it is time to put in the super box and queen excluders. Sadly we are in the middle of a drought, the amount of rainfall this season was well below expectations, and now the community faces the beginning of the next dry season which is likely to last until October.
In collaboration with Dr King and her renowned Elephants and Bees Project, Tsavo Trust have implemented three pilot beehive fence projects based on the highest results-oriented models for construction and monitoring within the Kamungi Conservancy.
Each farm is located quite some distance apart and all agreed they would be ideal candidates. The farmers agreed to section off one acre of each farm to construct three pilot beehive fence trial sites with the guidance of Lucy and her expert team.
During the recently concluded Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) Aerial Census, the recent elephant carcass of the Tusker known as Kamboyo was located with ivory intact on 20th February 2017.
The aircraft and crew that found this carcass called in the Tsavo Trust aircraft that was counting the nearby block and Josh (TT pilot) confirmed this was indeed the carcass and ivory of Kamboyo. Kamboyo had been named by Tsavo Trust in March 2013 and was last seen alive on 17th January 2017. He was one of Tsavo’s elephant Ambassadors. His ivory weighed 53.5kg and 52.5kg (118 and 116lbs).
Renowned wildlife artist and long term supporter of the Tsavo Trust, Karen Laurence-Rowe has put her painting ‘Satao’s Last Stand’ up for auction at the upcoming Tusk Wildlife Gala, to be held in New York on the 6th of April 2017. Funds raised from the sale of this powerful painting have very generously been pledged to the Tsavo Trust. Bids for the painting can be made on the Tusk auction website.
The Elephant Listening Project (ELP) is a non-profit research venture using vocal activity to monitor the status and activities of elephants.
Following China’s promise that it will stop domestic trade in ivory by the end of 2017, ELP have made a video thanking China for their commitment. Their belief is that if the bottom drops out of the market, the incentives to kill elephants will drop too.
Late afternoon on 6th February 2017, I received a call from the KWS Senior Scientist Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) who asked if Tsavo Trust would assist to collect a rescued Pangolin from Galana Ranch and ascertain its health and status and report on the same.
We collected the Pangolin (Ground Pangolin Smutsia temminckii) from Galana Ranch (Danisa airstrip) by air and returned at sunset to Tsavo Trust HQ. The female adult Pangolin at first glance seemed in good shape, but obviously balled up and petrified due to the traumatic day it had been through.
New born to 5 months
On first arrival and for the first two weeks, the leopard cub needed around the clock care with feedings every 2 - 3 hours of electrolytes and milk as her condition was poor and she was very weak. However, once she gained her strength, her weight began to increase at an astonishing rate and she soon grew out of our bathroom! She went from drinking 100mls of milk per day to a litre and was soon on solids. Since starting a meat diet, she has continued to grow rapidly and is changing everyday.
On the 12th of May 2016 a small female leopard cub was brought into our Tsavo Trust HQ in the Kamungi Community Conservancy, which boarders Tsavo East National Park (TENP). She weighed a fraction over 1kg and her eyes had just begun to peel open and it was a further two weeks before she could properly focus and walk without bumping into anything. We estimated her age to be 10/14 days on arrival. She was not in very good condition and it was obvious she had been away from her mother for sometime.
Safe and acceptable water for human consumption that is available in sufficient quantity, physically accessible and affordable is a crucial prerequisite for human wellbeing. Access to safe water is not only fundamental to good health but also to satisfactory livelihoods, dignity and prospects for economic growth and education. The lack of access to sufficient amounts of safe water leads to human suffering and to loss of human potential, which is ethically indefensible as well as economically wasteful.
Nestling on the border of Tsavo East National Park near Mtito Andei in southern Kenya are the remote villages of Ngiluni and Kamunyu - merged to form Kamungi for ease of reference. Kamungi is Home to approximately 2000 people of the WaKamba tribe. Due to the remoteness of the area, the raging heat and lack of water, this marginalized community is failing to thrive.
Our ultimate goal is to incorporate the services of a clinic, pharmacy, laboratory and health education center into one facility in the village of Ingiluni, which will cater for both Ingiluni and Kamunyu villages combined (around 2000 people). The logistics of establishing a functional health clinic that is equipped and capable of handling the diagnosis and treatment of the most common illnesses affecting the people (i.e. illnesses caused by malnutrition, (i.e. malaria, typhoid fever, bacterial infections) indicate that it will take several months to accomplish our goals. Therefore, we are making this into a 2-step project.
At the end of 2015 a large group of excited men from Kamungi and Ngiluni villages arrived at Tsavo Trust HQ to undergo a series of initiative, stamina and physical tasks in order to be chosen for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Community Ranger Training course at the KWS Law Enforcement Academy Manyani.
Joshua had been shopping at his local village, which borders onto the Tsavo Conservation Area. On his way home, he came across an elephant on the path in front of him. He turned away and headed off in the opposite direction, not realizing there was another elephant hidden by the thick bush.
The elephant poaching epidemic sweeping across Africa is causing an outpouring of grief and outrage around the world. Simultaneously, many people are telling us they feel frustrated, because they want to help but do not know how they can make a positive difference.
With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers. This magnificent elephant was widely known in Tsavo East National Park, where he was observed with awe by many thousands of Tsavo’s visitors over the years. No longer will Tsavo and Kenya benefit from his mighty presence. Satao was shot dead by poisoned arrow on 30th May 2014.