Travel & conservation company, since 1991
See how we earn 5 starsTrustpilot - 5 stars
×
SEARCH OUR STORIES
OR
SEARCH OUR SAFARIS
AND / OR
Africa Geographic Travel

The early morning phone call came into the Wildlife Works offices in Tsavo, Kenya. A baby elephant had been hit by a large truck. Written by Raabia Hawa, Founder of Walk With Rangers

Head ranger Eric Sagwe responded swiftly, using the donated anti-poaching vehicle. He set off, with numerous thoughts running through his mind, “They must be mistaking it for another smaller animal, surely not a baby elephant! What if it’s still alive?

When he arrived at the scene, people had begun to gather around…

baby elephant roadkill
©Eric Sagwe

There he lay, an elephant not more than two or three weeks old, his young life terminated. Just like that.

According to community members who had witnessed the incident, a family of elephants crossing the busy highway that dissects East and West Tsavo turned back when faced by the barrier of the new elevated Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway – the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since the country’s independence. Unaware of the underpasses provided for elephants, the herd turned back in the confusion and panic, and the little one was struck by an oncoming truck.

People crowded the scene, eager to utilise the calf for meat. Thankfully, Eric wasn’t going to have any of it and carried the calf’s lifeless body into the vehicle. With a heavy heart, he drove deep into the bush, where he left the baby elephant in a peaceful spot.

The controversial railway line has impacted on communities living around Kenya’s famed Tsavo ecosystem, with human-wildlife conflict cases rising significantly since the construction began; putting pressure on wildlife, and inevitably transferring that pressure to people – a fact that perhaps was overlooked during the planning process.

baby elephant roadkill
©Eric Sagwe

My regular drive to Tsavo regularly reveals numerous roadkills – from hyenas to mongooses, squirrels, giraffes and even endangered Grevy’s zebras. Even lions, the majestic symbol of Kenya’s Coat of Arms, have been forever silenced on this highway.

Tsavo’s elephants have been an iconic species for Kenya since it’s independence. They bring in much-needed revenue for the tourism industry, thereby contributing significantly to the nation’s GDP and to employment levels. We revere elephants and respect their close family structures and contributions to the ecosystem services we all enjoy, even in the cities.

We mourn the loss of such a young life, but perhaps this young elephant’s legacy is to help us inform you what is happening here in Tsavo.

To comment on this story: To protect you against trolls & misinformation, we only permit comments in our app. See how to DOWNLOAD OUR APP below.


HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC:

  • Download our APP (mobile phone & desktop) to receive travel discounts, comment on our stories, make safe donations and network with others like you. Find out more here.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our best stories in your inbox weekly and for travel discounts. Subscribe here.
  • Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Search for your ideal safari here, or contact an Africa Geographic safari consultant to plan your dream vacation.

AG Logo

In the Guest Blogger profile, you'll see fresh and exciting content from a range of contributors who have submitted their content to us on a once-off or temporary basis, including press releases, campaigns and exciting adventure and travel tales!

Africa Geographic Travel
[wpforms id="152903"]
<div class="wpforms-container wpforms-container-full" id="wpforms-152903"><form id="wpforms-form-152903" class="wpforms-validate wpforms-form wpforms-ajax-form" data-formid="152903" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data" action="/stories/baby-elephant-tragedy-leads-appeal-help/" data-token="e720f5707e3b45d4645ecd777b0e916d"><noscript class="wpforms-error-noscript">Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.</noscript><div class="wpforms-field-container"><div id="wpforms-152903-field_1-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-email" data-field-id="1"><label class="wpforms-field-label wpforms-label-hide" for="wpforms-152903-field_1">Email Address <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="email" id="wpforms-152903-field_1" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][1]" placeholder="Email " required></div></div><div class="wpforms-submit-container"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[id]" value="152903"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[author]" value="3"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[post_id]" value="86124"><button type="submit" name="wpforms[submit]" id="wpforms-submit-152903" class="wpforms-submit" data-alt-text="Sending..." data-submit-text="Subscribe" aria-live="assertive" value="wpforms-submit">Subscribe</button><img src="https://africageographic.com/wp-content/plugins/wpforms/assets/images/submit-spin.svg" class="wpforms-submit-spinner" style="display: none;" width="26" height="26" alt="Loading"></div></form></div> <!-- .wpforms-container -->