Flora Safari Blog

  1. One of Kenya's last big 'tusker' elephants dies aged 50

    One of the last remaining great "tusker" elephants in Kenya has died aged 50. Tim died in Amboseli National Park on Tuesday, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). He died of natural causes. The animal's body will be sent to a taxidermist in Nairobi so that it can go on display, KWS said in a statement. African elephants are referred as "tuskers" when their tusks grow so long that they reach the ground. KWS said Tim was "well known and loved throughout the country". Tim's tusks were said to weigh more than 45kg (100lbs) each. Drought-hit Zimbabwe 'sells elephants overseas' Do elephants risk their lives to save each other? He was well-known in the area due to his crop-raiding habits. During his lifetime, he was speared three times. In an effort to keep him safe and protect locals' crops, a team comprised of animal protection groups and KWS placed a collar on him. They were able to monitor him more closely and send a team to try and stop his crop raiding habit. Once the team knew he was approaching crops, they would attempt to intercept him, although he quickly learnt to bypass them. 'Tim was mischievous' During the first year, he made 183 attempts to enter farmlands and raid crops. The monitoring team were able to stop around 50% of these from going any further, Save the Elephants said. In February last year, Tim nearly died after he became trapped in a muddy swamp. However was later rescued by KWS and animal protection groups. Former Save the Elephants field assistant Ryan Wilkie said: "Tim was a special elephant - not just to me but to hundreds, thousands of people who would flock to Amboseli just for the chance to see him. "He was so incredibly intelligent, mischievous, yes, but also a truly gentle giant and in that way a real ambassador for his species." https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51391422
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  2. Rare white giraffes spotted in Kenya

    Two white giraffes were spotted in Northeast Kenya in May. (Hirola Conservation Program/Caters News) By Thomas Johnson September 15, 2017 at 12:31 a.m. GMT+3 A pair of elusive white giraffes has been spotted near a conservation area in Kenya. Rangers from the Hirola Conservation Program were alerted by villagers that the mother and calf were seen walking together near the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Kenya’s Garissa County in May. In August, the organization published footage of the encounter, but the video began to take off this week, accumulating more than 225,000 views on YouTube. “The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signaling the baby Giraffe to hide behind the bushes — a characteristic of most wildlife mothers in the wild to prevent the predation of their young,” the HCP wrote in an August blog post, which included video from the May 31 encounter. “These rare white giraffes shocked many locals, including myself, but they also gave us renewed energy to protect and save our unique wildlife,” Abdullahi Ali, founder of the Hirola Conservation Program, told Caters News Agency. White giraffes are rarely spotted in the wild, and the conservation group said it’s aware of only two previous confirmed sightings — in Kenya and Tanzania. However, reports of white giraffe sightings go back as far as 1938, wildlife biologist Zoe Muller wrote in the African Journal of Ecology in 2016. In Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, a white giraffe calf, which a local tour guide named Omo, was first spotted in January 2015 and again in January 2016. A white giraffe was spotted near the same Kenyan conservancy in March 2016, near where the mother and calf were seen in May. In all these cases, the giraffes appeared to be leucistic, not albino. Leucism is a condition that causes a partial lack of pigmentation. “Leucism is often mistaken for albinism, but they are two different conditions,” Muller wrote, adding that unlike albinism, leucism generally doesn’t affect an animal’s eye color, and in some cases the animals “retain their species-specific coat pattern.” The Nature Institue adds that “albino individuals lack melanin everywhere, including in the eyes, so the resulting eye color is red from the underlying blood vessels.” Giraffes, of which there are at least four distinct species, were classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature last year, meaning they are considered as threatened as African elephants. As The Washington Post’s Ben Guarino wrote in December, an IUCN giraffe specialist group determined that the giraffe population declined to 97,562 in 2015, down from between 151,000 and 163,000 animals, according to a 1985 estimate. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/09/14/rare-white-giraffes-spotted-in-kenya/
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  3. Tourist warned of fake online agents

    Fake online agents in Kenya


    The Ministry of Wildlife and Tourism is investigating reports of online con artists posing as tour agents and defrauding tourists.

    In a statement signed by the ministry’s Director Public Communications Mulei Muia, cases of fraud on tourists wishing to visit Kenya have been reported.

    According to the statement, the fraudsters are not licensed and do not have offices.

    “Initial findings indicate that these rogue individuals are not licensed tour operators regulated by either TRA (Tourism Regulatory Authority) or the Kenya Association of Tour Operators,” Mr Muia said.


    He added that the imposters are also not registered by the Registrar of Companies and a large number of them have no fixed abode or offices.

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  4. 12 of the Best Places to See Rhinos in Kenya

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