CONSERVATION IN ACTION
At Elephant Watch Camp we believe that elephants are special. Years of scientific research, and our own daily observations, have revealed that they are highly intelligent, sentient creatures who thrive in close-knit families, feel complex emotions like empathy or compassion, are self-aware, and seem to have a concept of their own mortality. It is difficult not to draw parallels with our own consciousness. Sadly, just as we are learning more about them, their existence is increasingly in peril from habitat loss and ivory poaching. We are determined to find ways to protect them.
To secure a future for elephants in our rapidly changing world, we work closely with the charity Save the Elephants, based just downstream from us in Samburu National Reserve. Elephant Watch guides have been trained to recognise each of the sixty-six families that are mostly resident in Samburu, many of whom have recorded histories that date back to Save the Elephants’ foundation in 1997. All of our observations are shared with the organisation’s researchers and feed into their long-term monitoring database.
SAVE THE ELEPHANTS
Established by Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Save The Elephants is one of Africa’s pioneering conservation charities. Its focus is on close daily monitoring of up to 1000 elephants to study the social interactions of individuals and associations of family groups, as well as research on long distance movement to better understand how elephants use the landscape. By collaring key individuals STE is building up a solid database with which to influence more elephant-friendly policies both at national and international levels to meet real elephant needs. Just as important to the organisation, as it is to Elephant Watch Portfolio, is working to maintain the Samburu people’s traditionally tolerant relationship with wildlife by finding ways to reinforce their culture, building on their natural conservation ethic, and providing new skill-sets to help them adapt to a modernizing world.
For more information on Save The Elephants’ work and how you can support them, please visit >> http://www.savetheelephants.org
For 20 years, there was a ceasefire in the poachers’ war against the African elephant, and the species’ numbers were rising healthily. That ceasefire is now over. Save the Elephants’ research suggests that more than 100,000 African elephants were illegally killed between 2010 and 2012. There is no sign that the rate of slaughter has slowed down since. Demand for elephant ivory – mostly for decorative trinkets but also increasingly worryingly as a commodity – has soared in the Far East, particularly in China. Urgent action is needed to safeguard Africa’s elephants.
Elephant Watch is proud to stand alongside those who are at the forefront of innovative efforts to try to stop the killing. We have hosted president Clinton and his daughter Chelsea, Yao Ming, perhaps China’s most famous sportsman, and Li Bingbing, one of its most successful actresses, when they visited Samburu with Save the Elephants. Both Yao Ming and Li Bingbing launched hugely successful campaigns on their return home to alert their millions of Chinese fans to the horror that buying ivory causes in Africa. We continue to help STE by raising awareness, providing an interface for donors to meet people on the frontline, fund-raising internationally, and enchanting our guests with the magical world of elephants to expand the global constituency that votes in their favour.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US
The greatest help you can give is by coming to stay with us at Elephant Watch and seeing how it all works in the field. We understand, however, that you might also want to lend a hand from afar. Everything we do links closely to the aims of Save the Elephants, the conservation charity founded by Oria’s husband, Iain Douglas-Hamilton. STE’s work focuses on amassing data on elephant behaviour to ensure accurate analysis and science on elephant movements and rangelands that are central to national and international policy decisions, preventing habitat loss, and long-term management. Find more details at www.savetheelephants.org