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In Nasaru-Olosho Conservancy, Kajiado County, where the Environment CS Tobiko led the World Biodiversity Day celebrations on Saturday, May 22, the risk of coming face to face with a lion or even an elephant on a daily basis is common, but the community members are hopeful that the economic proceeds from wildlife which roam freely on their land will be a reality soon.
Kilukei is among the thousands of residents who have cast aside their suffering and pain to ‘milk the elephant’, meaning that they want to get benefits from living with wildlife by adopting innovative and sustainable nature-based enterprises.
Since the attack that left him with a permanent impairment on his left leg, Kilukei has been following up on compensation but in vain, saying he receives the same response every time he enquires about the payment: “Your compensation is yet to be processed.”
“Mimi bado napenda ndovu. Nataka nikamue hii ndovu nipate mapato ya conservancy (I still love elephants but now I want to ‘milk’ elephants through the conservancy to earn an income,” said the jovial Nasaru Olosho resident who aspires to be a ranger.
Over 60 percent of wildlife live outside protected areas, meaning that they roam freely on individual and community land posing a big risk for the people and livestock. Kilukei’s story, while sad, is not the most-heartbreaking of the tales of the dangerous encounters with wildlife in this expansive conservancy which is a wildlife corridor between Amboseli and Tsavo. Here, lives of many children have been upended after losing a parent or a guardian to wildlife attacks.
“I was a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree at the University of Nairobi (UoN) when I received the dreaded phone call. My father had been killed by a