Kenyan Elephants Use Text Messaging

By Meera Dolasia on October 14, 2008

Word Search

Kenyan Ranger Richard Lesowapir was enjoying a peaceful day, when he received a text message from Kimani. The  African bull elephant was back to his old tricks - heading to raid the neighborhood farms. Richard jumped into his jeep and rushed to try frighten Kimani back to his home at the Ol Pejeta conservancy.

Of course it wasn't Kimani who actually typed the message, but an automatic message that was beeped to Richard's cell phone from a mobile phone card that has been inserted into the elephant's collar. The measure was necessary because of Kimani's tendencies to raid the local villages and ransack their crops. Now, every time he steps beyond certain boundaries, rangers' reel him back in.

Kenya is the first country to try this method in a quest to protect both, the ever-increasing human population and the wild animals, which have less room to move around freely, and are therefore encroaching on human territory.

The issue came to a head about two years ago, when the elephant raids got so severe that rangers had to kill five of them to protect the villagers. Kimani, who was one of the regulars in the group, would have also met the same fate, had it not been for the Save the Elephant Group, who came up with this solution, to see if they could change his stealing habits.

Using Google Earth software, the rangers created a virtual 'fence' around the conservancy. When Kimani approaches the virtual fence, a ranger immediately receives a text message. In the last two years, Kimani has tried to escape 15 times, with no success. While Kimani is the only elephant in his herd to be tagged, stopping him has had an enormous impact on lowering the number of village raids - for elephants tend to move together and imitate each other. Also, thanks to the Google Earth software, elephants around the park can be monitored more effectively against poachers.

Needless to say, the local villagers are thrilled to not have to worry about elephants eating up their livelihood, at least in the area Kimani lives. The project has been so successful that last month, another African bull called Mountain Bull, whose looting tendencies mimic Kimani's, was also fitted with a phone card.

Hopefully, now man and beast will be able to co-exist peacefully.


Share by EmailShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
to use your custom avatar.
  • bibliophile
    That is sooooo awesome!!!!
    • susie
      • Kenneth9/7/2013
        • kira_smileyface
          That's cool! [][]
          • cahill74
            • jakim19
              wow that is awesome!!!
              • leez
                cool, that is a good way to keep elephant in place . but wierd too.
                • Selena1/21/2011
                  • PEACE OUT!!!!!!!!12/14/2010
                    • peace9/29/2010
                      how cool i didn't know an elephant could do that.




                      Most Popular Articles

                      The World's Deepest Pool Is Scarily . . . Deep!
                      ISIS - The New Threat To World Peace?
                      Candy That Doesn't Cause Cavities? Sweet!
                      9/11/2001 - The Day Americans Came Together
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                      Video Of The Week - If Frozen Was A Horror Movie . . .

                      Latest Comments

                      karate dude wrote:

                      With the weapons we have worldwi...
                      ISIS - The New Threat To World P...

                      that guy there wrote:

                      Science teacher get ready to rea...
                      The World's Deepest Pool Is Scar...

                      Awesomeness3163 wrote:

                      What is the summary though?
                      ISIS - The New Threat To World P...

                      Awesomeness3163 wrote:

                      Real bad
                      ISIS - The New Threat To World P...