Kenya's 'Elephant Guardian' Will Deliver Water to Thirsty Animals 'Until It Rains'
With a rented truck, volunteer Patrick Kilonzo Mwalau delivers 12,000 liters of water at least four times a week to animals who need it
He’s like no delivery man you’ve ever heard of.
Patrick Kilonzo Mwalau, dubbed “the Elephant Guardian,” is saving animals by delivering water to them in dry regions of Tsavo, Kenya, and a fundraising page created five months ago to fund his efforts has raised over $90,000 so far.
In a message on his GoFundMe page, Mwalau said water has become “a very precious commodity” and will continue to be until November, when rain is again expected to fall.
“This has got us all very worried of losing many animals from antelopes to elephants if nothing is done very urgently,” it says. “Some years back we lost many animals including elephants due to a prolonged drought. Elephants are becoming endangered from poaching and we need to save the ones we have left by providing water for them until the drought peril is over.”
Mwalau and his team, the Tsavo Volunteers, rent water trucks to deliver 12,000 liters of water at least four times a week, at a cost of $250 for each tank. They drive about 27 miles and distribute it to animals at two different locations.
“We have many elephants concentrating in very few water holes fighting to drink water and this has made the smaller elephants lacking water,” the page says. ” They become very thirsty and they end up spending a lot of time and energy walking very far distances with young ones searching for water.”
Mwalau had one of his craziest deliveries to date on Feb. 13.
“I just got a call that animals don’t have water completely and immediately called my driver of the truck to fill the truck with water and within 2 hour time we managed to deliver the water,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It was dark and was so [scary] delivering water while the buffaloes surrounding our truck because they got smell of water. They were drinking as we were delivering and I could see dark big giants standing besides us and some coming towards our truck with no fear for we have precious commodity they missed. We need to triple our delivery if possible for now it is very, very dry!! Please, kindly go to our donation link and let us all help this situation out.”
The animals are often waiting for him to arrive with the delivery.
“I found no water at all and animals were right resting at the waterhole waiting for my truck and quench their thirst,” he wrote on Facebook on Feb. 18. “It is unbelievable how they have known the truck and they just wait patiently for water and surrounding the truck as we deliver. They don’t harm us because they know we are helping …”
Despite the danger that comes with these deliveries, Mwalau is dedicated to the cause which has received a lot of attention from media outlets and news stations in recent days, sparking an influx of donations.
“This month we should do a lot for animals and have permanent solutions because we are getting more donations,” he wrote. “Want to thank my team and every donor in making this happen. I will continue delivering water until it rains.”
To donate to the cause, click here.