The plight of the elephant has come to symbolise the global fight to protect the world’s fast diminishing wildlife species and their habitats. The international trade in ivory saw elephant populations decimated for the sake of pure monetary gain until eventually an international ban on the ivory trade was instated in 1989. Every two to three years Governments convene for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) where southern African countries lobby to have the ban lifted and for permission to sell ivory quotas. Every two to three years HSI makes sure we are at those meetings, arguing against it.
On the ground, HSI has been working in South Africa and Tanzania in an effort to help improve elephant and wildlife protection programs. In Kruger National Park in South Africa, we have financially supported wildlife anti-cruelty measures, while at the Makalali Land and Wildlife Trust, we are partners in a trial “Elephant Contraception Program”, aimed at finding a means to avoid killing elephants in overcrowded parks.
In Tanzania, HSI, in co-operation with the Born Free Foundation, has funded the operating costs of a small energy-efficient plane, to survey and monitor poaching and other illegal activities in Ruaha National Park. Intelligence will be provided to Park Authorities and The Friends of Ruaha Society, in this extremely important elephant and wildlife refuge.
Photo courtesy of Frantz Dantzler
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