In January we welcomed 2010 best Actor Oscar Nominee Colin Firth, and his family, to our Nairobi elephant orphanage, where they were all captivated by the elephants and each individual’s tragic story. In Colin’s own words, “Getting close to these wonderful animals was an unforgettable experience. The Orphanage is doing extraordinary work."
The plight of elephants in Africa is of great concern, following an increase in ivory poaching and the impact of Kenya’s worst drought in living memory, which thankfully came to an end a few months ago.
There is now though a new threat, with Tanzania and Zambia seeking to have CITES downgrade the protected status of elephants in their countries from Appendix 1 to Appendix 2 – in essence allowing these two countries to trade ivory. CITES meets in March 2010, at which time this request will tabled – if CITES supports Tanzania and Zambia’s proposal, it will surely mark the beginning of the end for East Africa’s already dwindling elephant populations.
You can voice your opposition to the ivory trade by signing our petition, which will be presented to the Parties to the Conference of CITES prior to their March meeting.