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Born Free USA Global Field Projects

Mount Elgon Elephant Monitoring

Published 07/25/11

Members of Kenya's MEEM team.
More Kenya elephant project images

Mount Elgon National Park, on Kenya's western border with Uganda, is home to a very special population of elephants. Because there are no salt licks on the surface of Mount Elgon, the elephants must venture into mountain caves to satisfy their sodium fix.

Born Free USA is helping to pay for their protection, because tragically, they are hunted by ivory poachers. For the past 10 years tragic incidents have been avoided, in no small part due to the presence of the Mount Elgon Elephant Monitoring (MEEM) team.

The MEEM team is operated by the park rangers who follow the elephants both inside and outside the park with the help of local trackers. Support from Born Free USA contributes to the modest but significant allowance paid to these local guides. The money we send — thanks to your generous donations —not only makes the tracking possible, but also provides a valuable link and material benefit to the local community.

The MEEM team announces its presence with elephant greeting noises, or “rumbles.” It is hoped that this procedure — similar to that used by Dian Fossey to habituate gorillas — soon will make it possible for tourists to accompany the rangers and experience the thrill of tracking elephants through the forest. Tourists’ participation also would provide valuable funding for the development and running of the park.

Generous contributions from Born Free USA supporters such as you help make the MEEM team — and Mount Elgon elephants’ survival — possible.

Read updates about our Kenya elephant project.

See the Kenya elephant project's photo gallery.

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