This group of pages contains information related to elephant conservation. Please see the Elephant emotion page for a window into the world of an elephant´s emotional life. As well, be sure to visit the other interesting articles.
Elephants, more than any other species need S-P-A-C-E. The Tsavo National Park is the only Park in Kenya large enough to accommodate sizeable numbers in perpetuity. Where confined in smaller areas, elephants are at risk, for Nature never intended that they stay in one small patch for too long due to the impact they have on the vegetation. Also, Nature has made them a fragile species; the first to be adversely affected by drought and lack of adequate browse.Nothing in nature is static. Elephant numbers are designed by nature to oscillate in unison with natural vegetation cycles they themselves induce.
Given that they are highly intelligent, highly sophisticated, long-lived animals with an emotional make-up akin to our own, a sense of self , their sense of family, sense of death and their needs, the management and the survival of the African Elephant as a species presents the greatest challenge to the Range States today. In dealing with this species, and as we approach the second millennium, humane treatment, welfare of individuals and most especially, their quality of life, must come beneath the spotlight of world opinion. It is simply not acceptable to view them in monetary terms an a mere commodity, with no thought given to the above issues.
The Trust continues an aggressive Public Relations campaign internationally to outlaw both the trade in Ivory forever also ban the cruel trade in live elephants shipped from Africa to foreign lands for exhibition purposes in Zoos and Circuses.
Training elephants for this purpose involves domination, abuse and immense and ongoing cruelty that is unacceptable now that the elephant psyche is better understood. To think otherwise displays callous ignorance.
Every piece of ivory is a haunting memory of a once proud and majestic animal that should have lived three score years and ten; who has loved and been loved, and was once a member of a close knit and loving family akin to our own, but who has suffered and died to yield a tusk for a trinket.
Every elephant that dies leaves family and loved ones that have grieved deeply, the dependent young doomed to die an agonising death in terror and lonely isolation.
EVERY PERSON THAT BUYS IVORY HAS BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS AND IS AN ACCOMPLICE IN KILLING AN ELEPHANT, CAUSING IMMEASURABLE SORROW AND SUFFERING TO MANY OTHERS.
For The Elelphant Cause the Trust has, on many occasions, provided emergency funding, and in the last two years sizeable sums for the purchase of fuel to keep the anti-poaching ground patrols functioning in Tsavo, and the surveillance aircraft in the air. The Trust has also provided emergency funding for repairs to firebreaks and roads in Tsavo, at a time when the Wildlife Service was sadly mismanaged and in a state of financial collapse. It repaired heavy earth moving machinery and funded a skilled operator to man a large scraper needed to desilt existing natural waterholes so that they retain water longer in the long dry seasons.
Water has always been the limiting factor in Tsavo East National Park, since in this semi desert environment there are only two permanent rivers. The Aruba dam constructed in the early 50's provided a third source of permanent water but has recently silted up and is set to become a grassy plain that will provide extra grazing for the large herds of buffalo this Park harbours, some of which are a thousand strong. The Trust has therefore funded 4 boreholes needed to cater for the needs of the Park's inhabitants in the absence of Aruba, ensuring a more even distribution of game and relieving pressure on the two permanent rivers in the long, hot,. dry seasons.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi Kenya