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15. December – Kenya

Today was spent making arrangements for our trip to Amboseli and meeting up with Mark Mwongela from Intrepid Data Systems who is building a searchable Elephant ID database for the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. Petter and Joyce have taken the lead in organizing the building of the database, defining the protocols and discussing these with the Intrepid team. We arranged for Mark to be driven in our car to meet us: the car broke down and Mark was stuck waiting while mechanics tried to repair it for almost five hours!

Eventually the car was (at least partially) repaired and Mark arrived. We are so pleased with the work that they have done, thus far. The database needs a bit of tweaking here and there, but we expect to have it available to field test in a few days! You have no idea how exciting this is for all of us. For years we have relied on an enormous stack of ID cards that we have to search through one by one to identify elephants (for those of us who don’t recognize all of them).

Having just started on the long list of essential repairs of our Land Cruiser, we were a little concerned about next day’s trip to Amboseli, well aware that the condition of the road would leave us both shaken AND stirred.