Space for elephants to roam free and safe at Kenya's Amboseli National Park, grew by nearly 16,000 acres today, with the signing of a lease agreement between the local Maasai community and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org).
"Paradise for elephants and other wildlife has just grown that much bigger," said Azzedine Downes, President of IFAW, at a ceremony to mark the creation of the "Kitenden Corridor." The leased area will extend elephant range space from Amboseli National Park to the Tanzanian border, where a similar strip of land, also referred to as the Kitenden Corridor connects to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park.
"We have the community of the Olguluilui/Ololarashi Group Ranch (OOGR) to thank for their foresight and concern for the safety of Amboseli's wildlife. By agreeing to lease land to IFAW, elephant range space has been massively extended and both humans and wildlife can look forward to living free of conflict," said Downes.
About 1,400 elephants live in the Amboseli ecosystem, and routinely move into the ranch area, particularly during the rainy season and sometimes come into conflict with farmers and villagers. The Kitenden Corridor which runs from Amboseli to Mount Kilimanjaro will ensure that a favoured route that elephants have used for millennia to move across the Tanzanian border is secured from habitat fragmentation and potential conflicts with local communities.
IFAW has a long standing relationship with the leadership and people of OOGR. Earlier this year ten community scouts sponsored by IFAW graduated from the Kenya Wildlife Service Enforcement Academy. The scout's mission is to save elephants and protect human livelihoods and IFAW will continue to support the KWS training programme. More....