Towns and farmland are being developed at a rapid rate across wildlife migration routes in Kenya. Elephants, in particular, are being penalised for breaking fences and destroying crops, while farmers face devastating losses of income. Livestock owners too, face losses of thousands of shillings if a lion, leopard or hyena gets into the cattle holding pen. Cases of human/wildlife conflict are common, and both sides suffer the consequences.
Good relations with surrounding communities allow Ol Pejeta’s ranger and community teams to intervene is these cases. Frequent meetings are held with farmers and pastoralists in the area, where wildlife movements can be shared and discussed, as can ways to mitigate risk, and what to do should an incident occur.
Together with the Kenya Wildlife Service, Ol Pejeta has the capacity to move wildlife out of certain areas, and to trim the tusks of notorious fence-breaking elephants. This collaboration has succeeded in cutting down instances of crop raid and conflict. When damage does occur – the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Laikipia County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee will manage the compensation process for farmers.