Ogiek never had a problem with elephants or other wildlife


Ogiek never had a problem with elephants or other wildlife

While the Ogiek never had a problem with elephants or other wildlife species, but since times immemoriable were the guardians of the magnificent forest biodiversity of the Mau and Elgon forests, the invading agriculturalists not only cut the forests, but also soon encountered problems with the elephants.

Dr. Joyce Poole, the former Kenya Wildlife Service coordinator of elephant conservation and management wrote *):

Our Elephant Program surveys had always included an investigation into human-elephant conflict around the forests and other protected areas, and we were well aware of the problem areas and their underlying causes. The pressure for land in Kenya was intense, and sensible land-use policy was often abandoned in favour of poor land-use practice. In many places there was simply no land-use planning at all or, if there was any, it wasn't followed. Corruption in high places exacerbated the problem. State land in some elephant habitats was being handed out in return for political favors to individuals who then sold it for settlement. Refugees were being resettled along a section of the Mau forest that we knew from our surveys to have the highest elephant density. And large tracts of protected national forest were being degazetted and given over for settlement, creating "island farms" within forests and "forest peninsulas" extending into prime agricultural land. As a result maize fields pressed up against the forest boundaries, tempting the elephants to make nighttime raids. The pattern was clear along the forest boundaries ....

I personally find the culling of elephants ethically unacceptable, ....


*) Poole, Joyce - Coming of Age with Elephants - ISBN 0-7868-6095-2