Anne Kent Taylor was born and raised in East Africa. Several months a year she resides in the Maasai Mara. During four decades working in the safari business, she has seen growing pressures on wildlife. With the increase of human settlements around the Mara reserve, predator-livestock conflicts have increased in the Maasai bomas (traditional livestock enclosures).
Through partnership with the Maasai in community projects and fortifying existing bomas with simple methods of natural and wire fencing, the Anne K Taylor Fund has had a 100 percent success rate at preventing livestock predation and the resultant revenge killings of predators. Anne’s conservation team includes Maasai members who help educate their community to become the protectors of their own wildlife heritage.
The Story of the Warthog, Sir Francis Bacon
In 1998, Anne began to receive visits from a large, wild warthog that lived near her cottage in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. This warthog could usually be found lying in the sun or grazing on the lawn in front of Anne’s verandah. He sought out Anne’s company and encouraged her to scratch his ears, de-tick him and, as he rolled on his back like a puppy, rub his tummy! As he had become a permanent fixture in Anne’s life in the Mara, he was named Sir Francis Bacon!
One morning in 1999, Sir Francis Bacon came up to Anne’s house with an arrow embedded deeply in his side. Anne organized for a Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarian to come and surgically remove the arrowhead. Sir Francis successfully recovered and years later he died a natural death. His offspring still visit Anne at her cottage on a regular basis – one young male has even larger tusks than those of Sir Francis!
Because of what happened to Sir Francis, Anne feared an increase in poaching activity and began to informally patrol the region searching for other injured animals. Anne’s fears were justified when she found several elephants, lion and giraffe that had become badly entangled in a life threatening wire snares. These were embedded deeply into the animals’ limbs, and the elephants’ trunks, causing unfathomable pain and damage. Remarkably, once the wire snares were removed and the wounds treated, the animals were able to make a full recovery.
Anne sought and received official permission to combat this illegal poaching activity. She founded the Anne K. Taylor Fund (AKTF) as a qualified 501 (c) 3 charity in the United States to raise money and fund a variety of community based projects. She wanted to find both short and long term solutions to involve the Masai communities in conservation efforts to protect their heritage and their futures.