I love Elephants, and being raised in Kenya I was beyond lucky to have grown up admiring these majestic animals in their natural habitat. The recent escalating evidence of their demise, from terrifying poaching statistics to personally witnessing large rotting carcasses whilst on safari, has left me heartbroken. At the current rate of poaching African Elephantscould face extinction in the wild by 2025!! A future without these beautiful, intelligent animals is not one which we can sit idly by and allow to happen.
Earlier this month 10,000 people spread over 14 different cities united for the International March for Elephants with one desperate message to their governments; Stop the ivory trade! I, along with hundreds of other Ele-lovers, demonstrated in London's Parliament Square urging the government to take action to end the illegal trade in ivory.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), a Kenyan conservation charity known for the rescue and hand-rearing of orphaned elephants before their rehabilition back into the wild, and its advocacy campaign iworry, have reported that an estimated 36,000elephants are slaughtered every year by the illegal ivory trade, amounting to one killedevery 15 minutes! To date, the DSWT has arrested 1,400 poachers and in the past month alone, has been called to rescue 14 elephants in just 18 days bringing the total number cared for by the charity to 33, the highest number since 1977. A letter signed by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick was delivered to 10 Downing Street after the rally at Parliament Square.
Below: Visiting the elephant orphans at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, close to where I was brought up, when I was little (yes, in flannel shorts) and more recently.
Rob Brandford, director of the DSWT, said: “The time to act is now. The UK government and governments around the world cannot ignore this growing crisis. Recent responses by other world leaders are encouraging but if our children and grandchildren are to see elephants in their lifetime, the international community must act urgently and collaboratively to enact a global ban on the commercial sale of ivory and protect elephants before it’s too late.”
Founder of the DSWT, Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, said: “Both elephants and their protectors are being killed by this illicit trade. Every life lost to the trade in ivory is a scandal. Their extinction would not only bring heartbreak, but it will have a devastating impact not only on the wider environment but also in millions of livelihoods dependent wildlife tourism. We urgently need to act now to protect the elephants and those that protect them to prevent a wider environmental and economic catastrophe.”
Please add your name to the list of people around the world saying NO to ivory HERE.
With your signatures, we can urge government leaders around the world to bring an end to all trade in ivory, permanently.