Elephant and rangers’ harmony in Virunga

Through our Elephant monitoring program in collaboration with ICCN rangers in Kabaraza station, we have been able to protect three different herds of elephants.

Through daily monitoring  of elephants, rangers are able to monitor and locate elephants for their protection from poaching.

Elephant at the Mabenga barrier

On 29th, I visited the forest and met up with more than 50 elephants. I was surprised that elephants sighted us before we could and we were scared. As we were moving making some noises, the elephants were scared and took off. I was told by rangers: “they must be around our camp by now as they feel safe around there”. Fifteen minutes later, we were at road (barrier) and met with more than fifty elephants in three different groups.

It is unbelievable that, although elephants have been poached for the last decade in Virunga,  you can get closer to this herd of elephants thanks to the devotion of rangers.

There is need to continue supporting this activity as we hope this herd can restore elephant population in Virunga Park. In 2008, we estimated more than 280 individuals in three different groups.

Field gears and ranger rations are needed by ranger and further support for monitoring.

Thanks to those who are supporting my work in Virunga.

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7 Comments

  1. Rebecca, Australia
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the update!

    On one hand its great they feel comfortable around you, but on the other it is also good if they are weary of people.

    Keep up the great work :)

  2. Anna M
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you for posting these uplifting news, great to see and there some impressive looking bull elephants with big tusks in the background, great work by everyone and fantastic work by all the Rangers and yourself…well done !

  3. paula
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    wow so the elephants are hanging out with rangrers for security. That is amazing!

  4. Deo
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Yes Paula.
    It is really amazing the way wildlife has realized the danger when they are far away from rangers and come closer when they are in trouble.
    I am not yet quite sure, but I may find the same pattern in hippos as I am carrying a study on hippos! But there is less support and attention for this species (hippopotamus)

  5. Anna M
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Thank you for posting these uplifting news, great to see and there some impressive looking bull elephants with big tusks in the background, great work by everyone and fantastic work by all the Rangers and yourself…well done !!

  6. Rebecca
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I am very interested in making a donation for protecting elphants in their natural habitat, but I would like to know a bit more about your organization and where the money goes. Do you have an annual report indicating expenditures? What is the extent of the work you do to protect elephants against poachers? What is your success rate? How many rangers do you employ? What are the expenses for this? How do I donate to a specific item such as this (not into the general fund)? Thank you.

  7. Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    We are cover different activities and we do have field reports. In order to protect elephant from poachers, we support rangers who are monitoring elephants at daily basis by providing them with food (field rations), field gears (tents, GPS, boots, …) and training. Actually the daily monitoring of elephant has been a success as for example we were able to cut off the poaching (15 elephants killed) which was happening during the first semester of 2008 and the following semester we had only one elephant killed. For donation, you can specify through either a comment to this blog or through my email: deokujirak@yahoo.fr

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