MORGAN, a male elephant in his 30s, has stunned conservationists by a determined will to find a friend – so determined in fact, that he walked 215km along the Kenyan coast. His trek took him through the most dangerous terrain for elephants in the country – crossing into Somalia and the stronghold of the terrorist group al-Shabaab Somalia. No other elephant has been sighted here for over 20 years, ever since illegal poaching wiped out the area. Despite the long distance, scientists are also astonished by his intellect. Morgan moved only at night. Like a soldier trapped behind enemy lines, he marched 19-24 km each night under the cover of darkness. The intense poaching pressure elephants are exposed to nowadays is believed to be the reason for Morgan’s exceptional behaviour. Ian Craig of Northern Rangelands Trust, who helped to collar Morgan, said: „A mature bull like Morgan is not wandering aimlessly. He’s likely following a route that he learnt earlier, one that has been used by elephants for generations. We are seeing this for the first time thanks to the tracking, but this is not a one-off. It’s an example of the connectivity that exists across this landscape regardless of borders.“ Morgan has returned back to Kenya (at least for now).
Source: The Times