Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya is supported by the Northland Rangelands Trust, which strives to get locals involved in conservation.  The Samburu tribe traditionally feared elephants, but now are on the front lines saving them.  They founded the sanctuary in 2016, and employ both male and female tribal members.  The Samburu track elephants for data purposes, rescue elephants in trouble, rehabilitate adults elephants and provide care for orphaned elephants.

From National Geographic:

The loss of elephants has a ripple effect on other animals. Elephants are ecosystem “engineers” who feed on low brush and bulldoze small trees, promoting growth of grasses, which in turn attract bulk grazers like buffalo, endangered Grevy’s zebras, eland, and oryx, themselves prey for carnivores: lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, leopards.

For pastoralists like the Samburu, more grass means more food for their cattle—one reason indigenous communities have begun relating to elephants, animals long feared, in a new way. “We take care of the elephants, and the elephants are taking care of us,” Lemojong says. “We now have a relationship between us.”

 

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