Kenya’s Elephant-Protection Air Force
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust flies air cover for pachyderms
The twin Tsavo national parks in southern Kenya are home to some of the East African country’s biggest elephant herds. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Kenya Wildlife Service work together to protect the gentle creatures from heavily-armed poachers, including flying air patrols over the elephant herds in the Trust’s five aircraft — a Supercub, two Topcubs, a Cessna 185 and a Hughs MD500 helicopter.
“Right now, the park is experiencing its dry season — typically a time when poaching activities increase,” the Trust reports. “It means we’re deploying the full force of our Aerial Support, Anti-Poaching Teams and Mobile Vet Units in the fight to keep these wondrous pachyderms safe.”
The aerial teams have recently added a new capability — tracker dogs, who ride along in the helicopter. “Thanks to the rapid deployment of these wonderful animals who are keeping Tsavo safe, in July and August a number of notorious poachers have been arrested!”