How Many Ways…


How many ways does humankind mistreat elephants? From logging to trekking, circuses to temples, the use and abuse of elephants is staggering. This blog post will show you:

Elephants used for elephant rides or trekking in countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka were often babies when they were abducted from their families in the wild, their families killed to take the babies for a life of slavery to give rides.

The traumatized babies are subjected to weeks of a brutal ‘crushing’ process of beatings called phajaan to break their spirits, shown here, so that tourists can enjoy riding on their backs.

We implore you to NEVER ride an elephant, on holiday or at any circus or fair venue. American circuses break their elephants in a similar manner, to perform degrading, health-threatening tricks for public amusement. All elephants belong with their families in the wild.

Jacob Dadi Visits Amara Conservation Home Office


I have being working in the field most of the time moving from one school or community to another, showing films and holding talks to community participants and to students around Tsavo – I spend very little time in front of my computer. I like doing this and I could not imagine that I could stay in the office all day working in front of the computer, and in planning meetings with my boss. In short, I disliked working in the office, am used to fieldwork and liked that much more than office work.


But for the last three weeks I was in Nairobi in the office working closely with my boss Lori Bergemann, and found that I really liked it, even more than the fieldwork! I worked on reports and documentation, we set up a new google map of the areas we have been visiting as Amara Conservation for the last several years; had very successful way forward meetings with Lori, and really enjoyed working with her so closely. What a great boss is she? Now I have the two experiences, working in the field and working in the office. I can say that I am happy to work for Amara Conservation and I really love it because it is what has made me to be who I am now. I love what we do!

Wildlife Sector Sensitization: KWS Headquarters Oct. 22


On right: Lori Bergemann Amara Conservation Director, Isaac Maina on her right

Post by Peter Towett:

Amara Conservation’s Lori Bergemann, Isaac Maina, and myself Peter Towett were among many organizations present at a Wildlife Sector Sensitization meeting held at KWS Headquarters in Nairobi Tuesday October 22.

The overarching message was about working together with each other and KWS in order to save our wildlife.

Presentations were made by KWS Director General Mr. William Kiprono who discussed the need for collaboration for all. The Nature Conservancy discussed their work on developing 25 subsidiary legislations required for implementation of the new Wildlife Act.

“We need all of you”, he said. He congratulated all present on the work that was being done to conserve our heritage and he said that KWS had been commended by CITES but that they could not do it without the support of partners such as ourselves. He said we clearly need to engage the communities – they know the criminals, there are young people who think of the Parks as large grocery stores and are actually respected in the community for being bread earners. The director urged us to share intelligence, information and to help KWS sensitize these communities on the issues of wildlife and environment conservation.

He said that habitat destruction, wildlife crime, space for wildlife and bushmeat poaching need to be dealt with together, but that loss of space for wildlife is now an even more serious issue than poaching.

He mentioned the following as areas of collaboration:

1. Human wildlife conflict,

2. Climate change (30% of Tsavo has been taken over by invasive species)

3. Securing migratory corridors, understanding land-use and easements

Resource mobilization. NGOs have the ability to bring forces and funds to bear where KWS may not.

Other speakers included; Stephen Munegene from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources who said the Cabinet Secretary is going to set up a National NGO Forum that will be an umbrella organization in which all wildlife NGO’s can engage with the government as one body. Patrick Omondi – Head of Species Management said that there would be a structured way of communicating wildlife information and that any numbers should be taken from his office. He shared that there had been 63 rhino births this year (43 – black, 20 – white) and that the rhino population was stable at 1,053 rhinos.

There followed a lively question/comment session from the audience. Several valid points were raised.

In closing, Director Kiprono appealed to all of us to “Fungua Roho” – open our hearts – if we don’t work together – we will hang. He stressed that wildlife crime, habitat destruction, space for wildlife and bush meat poaching needed to be dealt with cumulatively. Again, he said – we need each other – as one we will stand!

We are looking forward to the next meeting which will be held in late January next year, as we all find ways to work with one another for the safety of our wildlife.

Global Elephant March 2014: The Pokot Peace Team Perform


From Jacob Dadi:

When I watched the Pokot Peace Team perform some cool acrobatics at the Global March for Elephant and Rhino on 4th, I was struck by this thought: This pose shows how conservation should be working. We should work as a team knowing that we need and rely on each other in order to succeed in wildlife conservation, no one group can do conservation alone. It must involve the others to have it succeed.

The three people on the ground at the base represent the NGO’s, Government, and the Donors – they are the basis and are there to support, encourage and involve the communities. The two guys in the middle represent the community – the community that lives with and supports the wildlife. Then we have the elephant, rhino, and other wild animals above who are safe being that the community are taking care of them with the help at the base. This should be the way to go in conservation – let’s work together to support the community, and the community will take care of their wildlife! JACOB DADI