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Human-Elephant Coexistence (HEC) Toolbox

Welcome to the first edition of Save the Elephants’ illustrated, evidence-based toolbox of tried and tested methods that can help rural communities in Africa to live safely with elephants.

The toolbox is designed for trainers, project officers and community leaders to identify the source of conflict with elephants and then guide people on how best to protect their property with the resources available. The toolbox is split into seven chapters, with all materials, ingredients, and technical details beautifully illustrated by our Kenyan artist Nicola Heath.

Do read the Trainers Guide steps at the bottom of the Home page that helps explain how best to use the toolbox when sitting down with your community members.

The Toolbox Index lists tools that have been collated from across the elephant range, from savannahs to forests, from conservation field partners to rural farmers, including innovative individuals who have invented novel ideas that really work. Contributors to each tool are listed at the back of each education pack and we also have an extensive reference library online with links to videos and publications for you to use. 

Each method has a budget point, a difficulty range, a risk factor, and be prepared that nothing is 100% effective. We recommend combining or rotating the various mitigation tools to help prevent elephants from getting used to any one technique. Additionally some tools can actively help boost crop yields and income generation through elephant-friendly enterprise ventures. The Icon Key will help explain what all the icons mean as you read through the documents. 

Additionally, we have made an online presentation about how best to use the toolbox and its various methods. Click here to view the presentation on STE’s YouTube page.

Africa’s elephants are endangered and they also need their space to roam and forage. We also urge leaders to prevent any blocking of wildlife corridors and that national park boundaries, and the integrity of our valuable wild ecosystems, are respected. We all have to play our part in seeking true coexistence with nature.

Try out the tools and please send us feedback on what does and doesn’t work plus any new methods that are effective for you. We hope you enjoy using and sharing this free HEC toolbox while we continue to develop new documents.

Dr Lucy King, MSc, DPhil
Head of the Human-Elephant Coexistence Program,

Save the Elephants & The Elephant Crisis Fund, P.O. Box 54667, Nairobi 00200, Kenya

IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group, HEC Taskforce Member

Research Associate, Dept. of Zoology, University of Oxford

Meet the Toolbox Editorial Team

Dr. Lucy King

Dr Lucy King leads STE’s HEC Program and the Beehive Fence trials in Kenya. A member of IUCN’s African Elephant Specialist Group and a Research Associate at the University of Oxford where she obtained her doctorate.

Naiya Raja

Naiya Raja has an MSc in Environment, Politics and Development and spent 5 years working in Tsavo, Kenya. She is a passionate educator helping people to protect the environment and to live in  better harmony with elephants.

Meha Kumar

Meha Kumar has a BSc in Zoology from the University of Nairobi, has a growing passion for Elephant Conservation and has experience working in Tsavo and Samburu for Save the Elephants. She is a researcher for the Toolbox ensuring accuracy and credits are given to all contributors.

Nicola Heath

Nicola Heath is our talented Kenyan illustrator with a BSc in Fine Arts. She has spent the last six years using her artwork and illustrations to create awareness and educate people on conservation and the environment. Her unique artistic skills and sensitive interpretations have brought our coexistence toolbox to life. 

About Save the Elephants

Save the Elephants is a charity working to secure a future for elephants. Specializing in elephant research, we provide scientific insights into elephant behavior, intelligence, and long-distance movements and apply them to the challenges of elephant survival. Education and outreach programs share these insights with local communities as the true custodians of this rich heritage. The team works towards a future of harmonious coexistence between humans and elephants.

Save the Elephants is a U.K. Registered Charity No. 1118804 HMRC Number: XT11693