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Kenya to hold elephant-naming festival in August

Female elephants get into a protective formation around a pair of calfs on a grassy plain at the Ol Kinyei conservancy in Maasai Mara, in the Narok, Kenya, on June 23, 2020   -  
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TONY KARUMBA/AFP or licensors


Kenya will hold a festival to give names to elephants in August.

The ceremony dubbed Tembo Naming Festival will be held at Amboseli National Park, which is home to more than 3,000 elephants out of the country's total population of more than 34,000.

People who wish to adopt an elephant will pay to the conservation fund. They will then get a chance to name the elephant, Kenya's tourism minister Najib Balala said on Tuesday.

The elephants' second names will be given by elders from the Maasai community, based on the animals' history and profile.

The event is scheduled for August 12, which is the International Day for Elephants.

Rwanda's Kwita Izina, the gorilla-naming ceremony held every September has given the country's tourism sector global recognition. 

In May, Kenya began conducting its first national wildlife census aimed at aiding conservation and identifying threats to its wildlife. The exercise will run until July.

Expanding human settlements, a changing climate that makes resources scarcer, and poaching have contributed to declines in wildlife populations.

Elephants are some of Kenya's most vulnerable animals.

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