This morning, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton flew an hour north of Nairobi, to the Samburu National Reserve. At the Reserve, they first visited the Save the Elephants Research Center. After arriving, Chelsea cut the ribbon on the new Visitors’ Center.
Save the Elephants is a partner in a CGI Commitment to Action launched in 2013 called Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants. This commitment has brought NGOs and governments together to prevent further elephant poaching by directly targeting the chief drivers of poaching. This commitment has facilitated anti-poaching enforcement in Africa, supported efforts to crack down on international ivory markets, and raise awareness of the impact and risks of ivory sales to the survival of the African elephant.
At the Visitors’ Center, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton viewed a key component of the innovative tracking system that Save the Elephants created, which uses GPS collars and technology to monitor elephants’ hourly movements and uploads it into a system which can be accessed anywhere with internet access. This way they can monitor if the elephant is moving too fast, which could indicate they are being chased by a poacher, or if they have stopped moving which could indicate injury or death.
Save the Elephants is currently tracking around 100 elephants in Africa.
President Clinton and Chelsea saw the tracking system and examples of the collars- including one collar shattered by a bullet, from when poachers shot and killed an elephant, later burying the collar as it continued to transmit data. In addition, President Clinton and Chelsea viewed elephant skulls and learned about how through new scientific procedures, the tusks can be dated and geo-located to help strengthen the prosecution of ivory traffickers.
President Clinton and Chelsea then viewed elephants throughout the reserve, which is traveled by over 1,000 elephants. In addition to seeing the elephants up close in person, they saw firsthand how the project is helping track elephants in the wild, and how teams could be dispatched in the event of an alert.
At the airfield before returning to Nairobi, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton were greeted by Samburu warriors. They performed traditional Samburu dance and music, and conferred the honorary title of tribal elder on President Clinton.