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Elephants Text Message Rangers (Kenya)
Sky News ^ | Sunday October 12, 2008

Posted on 10/12/2008 5:18:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Kenyan rangers have devised a hi-tech way of saving endangered elephants - by getting the animals to send text messages.

Elephants from the Ol Pejeta conservancy have been equipped with a mobile phone SIM card on their collar which automatically sends text messages if they head towards villages.

Bull elephants, ranked as near extinct in the Red List of vulnerable species, are renowned as a nuisance for raiding villagers' crops during the harvest, sometimes wiping out six months of income at a time.

Previously the Kenya Wildlife Service had reluctantly shot five of the animals who persisted in stealing crops.

But now a virtual "geofence" has been set up using a global positioning system that mirrored the conservatory's boundaries.

One elephant, Kimani, has a SIM card. Whenever he approaches the virtual fence, his collar texts rangers, who can head off the animal using spotlights to frighten it away.

They have intercepted Kimani 15 times since the project began. Once almost a nightly raider, he last went near a farmer's field four months ago.

The idea, drawn up by the Save the Elephants group, is now a huge relief to the small farmers who rely on their crops for food and cash for school fees.

Basila Mwasu, a 31-year-old mother-of-two, lives near the conservancy fence.

Once an elephant stuck its trunk through a window into a room where her baby daughter was sleeping and the family had stored some corn. She beat it back with a burning stick.

Another time, an elephant killed a neighbour who was defending his crop.

Mwasu said: "We had to go into town to tell the game (wardens) to chase the elephants away or we're going to kill them all."

But the elephants kept coming back - until now.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.sky.com ...


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: elephant; kenya; technology
Why can't these elephants just get a Twitter feed?
1 posted on 10/12/2008 5:18:52 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

The toughest part is teaching them to use their tusks on those little keys.


2 posted on 10/12/2008 5:21:57 PM PDT by bitterdfwrepub
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To: bitterdfwrepub

Well, I know I hate using them, so I don’t blame them.


3 posted on 10/12/2008 5:23:22 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Slings and Arrows

Ping


4 posted on 10/12/2008 5:23:40 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

ALL UR CRPS R BLONG 2 US.:~)


5 posted on 10/12/2008 5:23:49 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Paying taxes for bank bailouts is apparently the patriotic thing to do. [/sarc])
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To: nickcarraway

And I thought I had fat fingers.


6 posted on 10/12/2008 5:58:05 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: nickcarraway

Neat technology.


7 posted on 10/12/2008 6:05:00 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: nickcarraway

I cannot get the link to open. How do they keep the batteries charged up?


8 posted on 10/12/2008 6:07:14 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: nickcarraway

Eletelephony

~Laura Richards

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant-
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone-
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)

Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee-
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)


9 posted on 10/12/2008 6:10:16 PM PDT by buridan
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To: nickcarraway
The old technology was a bit dated.


10 posted on 10/12/2008 6:12:37 PM PDT by Daffynition (The most terrifying words in the English langauge are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.)
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