Elephants may be gone soon – unless something happens
Last fall we visited Samburu National Reserve in Kenya to research the new Tata&Squack elephant adventure. We were in awe of the majestic animals. Touched by the caring they display for each other. Amazed by the stories how elephants grieve their dead and yet have the courage to turn the page and get on with life. There are lots of things they still can teach us humans. Therefore I am sad to read that between December and January, 21 elephants have been killed in the Samburu area only. The last elephant to be killed being Phyllo, a 20-year old male, felled with six bullets, his face and tusks gone.
But there is hope for change. The elephant expert Iain Douglas-Hamilton and his wife, Oria, welcomed yet another Chinese goodwill ambassador at the Elephant Watch Camp. In 1993 the Douglas-Hamiltons, established the Save the Elephants organization to promote better understanding and preservation of the world’s largest land mammal. Li Bingbing, a Chinese actress is launching a new campaign in China with UNEP and Save the Elephants to stop the illegal ivory trade. Stepping up to the challenge, Li wants to raise awareness how the demand in China is fueling the killing of elephants in Africa. Like many people in China, Li asserts that ignorance in consumer countries is the enemy of elephants. The world can no longer ignore the reality that elephants may be gone within decades, unless something drastic happens to stop the slaughter.