Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza has launched a wildlife adoption initiative that will give Kenyans an opportunity to have an elephant named after them.
Speaking on Citizen TV on Wednesday, March 1, CS Malonza said the initiative is aimed at creating an environment where humans and wildlife can interact without conflict.
“What this initiative is all about is we will have people naming elephants after them. It could be a baby elephant or a young tusker or a family of elephants for that matter, and all this will come at cost. Basically, the initiative seeks to create awareness and creating a world where human beings can relate with the wildlife,” the CS said.
The naming ceremony dubbed, Tembo Naming Festival, will be held at the Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County on March 3, 2023. It will coincide with World Wildlife Day, a United Nations International day set aside to celebrate the world’s wild animals and plants.
CS Malonza said Maasai elders will be in charge of the naming process due to their extensive knowledge of how animals interact with humans.
“They have lived in the community for a long time and are familiar with animal behavior. They will be able to describe their background and behavior, including whether they are destructive or polite,” said Malonza.
“After the adoption, Kenyans will be able to access information about the elephant. As you know, these animals travel long distances, from Somalia to Tanzania, and we will continue to track them.”
The minister said it will cost between Sh100, 000 and Sh500, 000 to adopt an elephant and have it named after you.
CS Malonza said the goal of the festival is to secure a future for elephants and their habitats in peaceful co-existence with humans while providing benefits and for posterity.
The festival will also include a tree-planting exercise at Amboseli National Park.