Tarangire Elephant Project (TEP) is committed to the conservation of the African Elephant through grassroots field research. TEP conducts its field work in Tarangire National Park located in northeast Tanzania. The project was started by Charles Foley in 1993 as a doctoral thesis study at Princeton University; it is now directed by Charles and his wife Lara in collaboration with Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).
Tarangire has over 2300 elephants but they have had an unsettled past. During the 1960's, most of the elephants used to spend much of their time outside the Park, and would migrate through or visit for short periods. All that changed with the onslaught of poaching that hit Tanzania in the 1970's and 1980's. Gangs of armed poachers would shoot the elephants wherever they found them and with nowhere else to hide, ragged bands or surviving elephants fled to the relative safety of Tarangire Park where they were able to escape the worst of the shootings.