Go Wild for Elephants in Kenya This World Wildlife Day
World Wildlife Day will be celebrated on 3 March this year under the theme ‘The Future of Wildlife is in our Hands’, with African and Asian elephants identified as a key focus. Across Kenya, there are many dedicated organisations working tirelessly to help protect the endangered species. To celebrate Worldwide Life Day in Kenya, here are just three:
THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) is best known for its pioneering efforts in rescuing and hand rearing orphaned infant elephants. To date, DSWT has successfully rescued over 150orphaned elephants and rehabilitated them back into the wild. DSWT is also dedicated to protecting and preserving other endangered species, such as the Black Rhino.
If travelling to Kenya, a visit to the elephant nursery in Nairobi National Park is a must. Watch the elephant orphans arrive for their midday mud bath and feeding, or you can even foster an elephant.
AMBOSELI TRUST FOR ELEPHANTS
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) is the longest running study of elephant behaviour in the world, working to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants through scientific research, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy. The team currently observes 1,400 wild elephants across the entire 8,000 Km2 Amboseli Ecosystem, gaining a unique and intimate window into their lives.
The ATE maintains a strong relationship with Maasai communities living in and around the Amboseli ecosystem, who have helped to keep the numbers of active poachers very low. In the absence of such poaching and culling, the Amboseli elephant population has been increasing slowly since the late 1970s. Amboseli is, therefore, one of the few places in Africa where the elephant age structure has not been drastically skewed and the population spans from newborn calves to old matriarchs in their 60s and, even more unusual, many large adult bulls in their 40s and 50s.
Those wishing to support ATE are invited to sign up to The Elatia Project (the word ‘elatia’ means ‘neighbour’ in Maa, the language of the Maasai people) and become a neighbour to an elephant family, sharing the ups and downs that constitute elephant family life.
Born Free is an international wildlife charity, based in the UK and established in Kenya in 1984 following the release of the popular film of the same name, to protect wild animals through anti-poaching and education outreach. The organisation works closely with communities and local partners to create awareness and change attitudes and policies, to ensure a safe and thriving future for Kenya’s magnificent wildlife.
As well as working to protect elephants, and thereby directly improving entire ecosystems and indirectly affecting the communities living around them and indeed around the world, Born Free implements important conservation campaigns for many other animals, such as Project Lion Rover, Lion Proof Bomas and Lion Conservation in Kenya.
You too can show your support of Born Free commitment on World Wildlife Day! Here are a few ideas:
- Visit the website http://bit.ly/BFFWWD and purchase a Born Free ribbon or wristband to wear and show your support on the day.
- Follow Born Free’s World Wildlife Day posts on social media @BFFoundation and facebook.com/bornfreefoundation.
Born Free will also be playing an active part in influencing European law as part of a commitment to launch a EU action plan against wildlife trafficking at the Save Wildlife Conference in The Hague, Amsterdam on the day itself (March 3rd). You can find out more or donate towards Born Free’s work to protect endangered species and end wildlife trafficking here: http://bit.ly/1CMyTYU.