Special Reports

Tech for tuskers: protecting Africa's elephants with Google


In the remote wilds of northern Kenya's Samburu reserve, the latest technology from US internet giant Google creates three-dimensional maps using data from satellite tracking elephant collars

As elephant poaching in Africa by organised crime gangs using high-tech equipment rises, those working to stop their extinction in the wild have turned to technology too. In the remote wilds of northern Kenya's Samburu reserve, the latest technology from US internet giant Google creates three-dimensional maps using data from satellite tracking elephant collars, providing security for the animals in the short term, and helping protect their habitat in the long term.

"It is a priceless bank of information," said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, head of conservation group Save the Elephants, demonstrating the complex near-real time map, where tiny elephant computer icons are shown moving across an enormous television screen.

With ivory raking in thousands of dollars a kilo in Asia, conservationists have warned that African elephants could be extinct in the wild within a generation.

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