Mt Elgon Elephant Project

Join us in saving a fragile population of unique and fascinating ‘cave elephants’ on Mount Elgon in western Kenya.  These are the only elephants in the world which go deep into caves to mine salt.

WE HAVE RAISED £42,500 AND NEED £20,000 FOR THE CURRENT STAGE OF OUR WORK.

For many years it has been known that these elephants penetrate 150m into Kitum Cave within Mt Elgon National Park, where their tusking marks are clearly visible on the cave walls.  Unknown to science until very recently, however, is that this elephant cave-mining behaviour is more complex than previously realised and extends to at least 12 – as yet – undescribed caves. 

Unfortunately, Mt Elgon’s elephants are at risk of extinction.  Only around 300 are thought to remain from a past population of several times that number.  Key threats to their survival are from deforestation and new areas of human settlement driving human-elephant conflict.  This has recently resulted in several human as well as elephant deaths.

The Mt Elgon Elephant Project (MEEP) was launched in May 2017 to ensure the survival of Mt Elgon’s elephants by investigating this exciting new information, finding ways to mitigate human-elephant conflict and, ultimately, seeking UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the whole transboundary catchment area of Mt Elgon, spanning both the Kenyan and Ugandan sides of the mountain.

To continue the project, the existing team of two part-time local scouts needs to be expanded to four full-time scouts and a Team Field Leader.  They will complete the detailed mapping work required, gather information on the community (many of whom have lived around the elephants for generations) and evaluate reforestation needs.  This will inform land-use recommendations with the aim of alleviating human-elephant conflict.

MEEP is a project of the East African Wild Life Association, working in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service and Elephant Crisis Fund.  The collaborating partners are also working on other initiatives on Mt Elgon, notably a water project to support a tree nursery promoting reforestation and poverty alleviation, development of tourism and ethnographic studies including archaeological research.

PLEASE JOIN US TO RAISE £20,000.

A very young baby elephant is learning to dig for salt in the floor of a cave on Mt Elgon in western Kenya.

An old mother and adolescent drinking from a steam in the Mt Elgon forest reserve. 
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Donations ()

  • Sylvia Rattenbury 
    • £20 
    • 1 mo
  • Sylvia Rattenbury 
    • £30 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • £100 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £50 
    • 2 mos
  • Bryan Hacker 
    • £100 
    • 2 mos
See all

Organizer

Chris Powles 
Organizer
Kirtlington, South East England, United Kingdom
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