Our biggest AR star: Mweturia the Elephant.
Everyone loves elephants, but loving Mweturia unconditionally is not easy for the people living in the Laikipia region of central Kenya. Mweturia is one of a few bold males that has mastered the art of breaking electric fences in order to raid farmland under the cover of darkness. It's no fun to see your maize harvest become an elephant's midnight snack!
Mweturia is literally our biggest AR star: he is one BIG bull. But it is his intelligence and inventiveness, and not his size, that is making him a notorious scoundrel. Although otherwise a calm elephant, he searches out farms on most nights. And he has recently started teaching younger males his fence breaking tricks. Because of Mweturia and his students, our conservation partner Space for Giants is working tirelessly to better understand crop raiding behaviour and to improve elephant fencing technology, so that elephants and humans can coexist peacefully.
Mweturia's home turf: Laikipia
Mweturia lives in Laikipia County, one of East Africa's most important areas for wildlife conservation. It supports higher populations of large mammals than any other landscape in Kenya, outside of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Laikipia is home to the second largest elephant population, which, combined with neighbouring Samburu County, numbers an estimated 6,365 individuals. Laikipia County is made up of large scale private lands, government holdings, and small farms. The vegetation is very diverse, ranging from savanna grassland and open woodland in the north to upland forest in the south, which lead up to the slopes of Mt. Kenya.
Keeping giants like Mweturia safe is a complex job!
It's the mission of our conservation partner Space for Giants to safeguard Africa’s vulnerable elephants and the landscapes they need to thrive, forever. They confront acute threats like poaching, connected to the ivory trade, and challenges like balancing the needs of wildlife with growing human populations. They research the problems Mweturia faces and design solutions, like newer and better fences that keep people and elephants out of each others way. Knowing where Mweturia goes is important for the Space for Giants team to make informed decisions and design the best solutions. That is why Space for Giants uses GPS tracking devices.
Where your money goes
Your in-app purchase in Safari Central go to Space for Giants (amongst our other five conservation partners) who will use it in their West Laikipia Fence Project, to construct +- 100km of special elephant fencing. This special fence, with protrusions called outriggers (metal wires that carry an electric charge), will help prevent Mweturia and his associates from entering into community lands. This will help secure the livelihoods of the people who live alongside elephants, build tolerance towards the species and help to keep elephants safe from retaliatory killings.