Conservationists trumpet success of Kenyan elephant underpass

How did the elephants cross the road? They went underneath it.

A $250,000 (158,000) tunnel - built with donor funds - has connected two wilderness areas on Mount Kenya and two distinct elephant populations separated for years by human development. Elephants can now cross a major road without endangering themselves or motorists, and without damaging crops or scaring nearby villagers.

"The first time we had a report about an elephant going under the underpass it was very exciting," said Susie Weeks, executive officer of the Mount Kenya Trust, one of the partners in the 1 million conservation project. "They actually managed to go through it within days of it being opened."

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The 15ft-high (4.5-metre-high) tunnel opened to elephants last month, but has not been used by the creatures until now.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the founder of Save The Elephants, said the nine-mile man-made corridor that surrounds the tunnel allows elephants to search for food and mates.

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