Big Tusker Project
Tsavo Trust, Kenya
The Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) holds Kenya’s largest elephant population and the largest sustainable gene pool of elephants carrying exceptionally large ivory (over 100 pounds per tusk). In 2014 there were 15 of these iconic Tuskers alive. By the end of 2015 there were 11 and by mid-2016 there were only 10 remaining. Massive in size and largely roadless, TCA and its Big Tusker inhabitants are protected by aerial coverage. Working in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the Big Tusker Project also provides aerial backup to anti-poaching operations, participates in censuses and scientific research, and monitors elephant populations including the numerous younger bulls that are classified as emerging tuskers demonstrating promise for the future. IEF continues our multi-year support with a special focus on the Iconic Cows (female big tuskers), the mothers, sisters and daughters of the Big Tuskers, whose genetics are also valuable to conservation efforts of this iconic population.