Tracking Technology Deployed to Help Keep
Giant Tusker from Crops
Nairobi, September 16th, 2016:
One of Kenya’s largest tuskers has been tted with a GPS tracking collar to allow Kenya Wildlife Service and
their non-governmental partners to prevent him from raiding the farms surrounding Amboseli National Park.
Known as Tim, the iconic bull elephant has gained international fame on account of his tusks, but local
notoriety because of his habit of entering farms in the Kimana area to feed to crops. The tracking collar gives
rangers on the ground the ability to track the tusker’s movements and deploy into farmland areas when he
approaches and chase him from the area using a variety of deterrents.
“We are committed to exploring effective methods to keep our communities safe while securing all of our
elephants,” said Kitili Mbathi, Director General of KWS, who took part in the operation.
The 47 year-old bull has been monitored by the Amboseli Trust for Elephants since he was born in December
1969 to a cow named Trista. His grandmother was the matriarch Teresia, leader of Amboseli’s TD family. After
the operation to t his tracking collar, Tim began walking towards the Trust’s research centre, and spent a
morning resting there.
“It will be wonderful to see his life in even ner detail now that his every move is being followed,” said Cynthia
Moss, Founder of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.
The tracking system developed and donated by Save the Elephants will allow rangers from KWS and Big Life
to monitor his movements using mobile devices and a VHF tracking antenna. When Tim crosses a virtual line
near farmland, an alert will also be sent to warn them to prepare for his arrival. The high-tech GPS tracking
collar was made by Kenyan rm Savannah Tracking.
“Tim’s new collar should give rangers a crucial advantage in preventing conict between farmers and this
iconic elephant, while also helping us to understand how to plan landscapes to keep our two species apart,”
said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants.
KWS and Big Life rangers will be on call 24 hours a day to respond. “Despite being injured twice while raiding
farms, Tim seems unable to resist the temptation of ripe tomatoes. Now with a collar that shows us his
location at any time, our problem animal control teams will be able to be one step of ahead of him and keep
him away from farms. Another great example of technology enabling conservation,” said Big Life Director
WildlifeDirect raised the funds that will to support the KWS and Big Life Foundation ground teams.
“To collar a majestic wild animal so that he can live out his life in peace and safety is an unnatural act. To build
fences where farms have been allowed to encroach on historic migration paths in order to protect the lives of
both settlers and animals - those, too, are unnatural acts. But if that's what it takes to protect our wildlife, I
support and encourage all of it,” said WildlifeDirect’s Board Director Scott Asen.
About KWS – www.kws.org
About Big Life – www.biglife.org
About WildlifeDirect – www.wildlifedirect.org
About Amboseli Trust for Elephants – www.elephanttrust.org
About Save the Elephants – www.savetheelephants.org
For More Information Contact:
Paul Gathitu – KWS Spokesperson +254 723 333 313
Frank Pope – Save the Elephants COO +254 725 777 552