Elephants – Is it too late?

Whilst on holiday in Kenya last year we visited my sister in Samburu, Kenya where she has her Ewaso Lions camp – ensuring the safety and conservation of the lions in that area. http://ewasolions.org/

Samburu is famous for its beautifuKenya 2013 812l elephants. Wonderful, majestic, kind animals – known for their loyalty, sensitivity and protectiveness to the family unit.

But, the future of these wonderful animals is in jeopardy. At the rate they are being killed, there may not be any elephants left in the wild for future generations to see, appreciate and admire – the way we have been so lucky to do so.

And the reason?

Demand for their tusks – used in some cultures for medicine, trinkets or objects of art. A barbaric, incomprehensible practice.

Poaching is now a multi-billion dollar business, fuelled by the demand for these tusks. And, let’s not beat about the bush – the Chinese are fuelling this demand. I read somewhere, that some Chinese think that the tusks fall out like teeth – they don’t see the horrific reality: elephants faces slaughtered to hack off the tusks; young elephants nudging their dead mothers who have been killed in cold-blooded murder for their tusks.

Poaching in Samburu has been a big problem over many years – but last year the Save The Elephants team in the reserve were having a good year – with poaching having decreased. But, it still remains the largest threat to these beeles crossing ewasoautiful animals. http://savetheelephants.org/

Although Samburu was spared much killing last year – the elephants are still suffering. One of the guides in the park said that because many of the larger female elephants have been killed, large bull elephants are now mating with smaller female elephants who are then getting pregnant. Because their bodies are not ready for this process, many younger female elephants are dying whilst pregnant or in childbirth. We saw one such young female and it was a sad sight.

Yesterday Prince William, a firm and vocal supporter of animal conservation in Africa made a televised speech to the Chinese people. I’m not a royalist – but I do admire him working so hard to raise awareness about the plight of elephants and rhinos. I do hope the Chinese, to whom he is addressing this talk, listen.

His speech is both factual and moving – and I thought very powerful. The statistics are horrifying.
What do you think? Do take a look.

And, to counteract the title of this blogpost – NO – It is NOT too late. We need to act, speak up and support organisations that work towards the conservation of animals like elephants, rhinos and lions. But we need to do that NOW.
If we don’t – only then it will be too late. “We can turn the tide of extinction.”

 

Photo Credit © 2015 Jeremy Lucas

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