Nearly 90 Elephants Found Dead Near Botswana Sanctuary, Killed By Poachers https://www.npr.org/2018/09/03/644340279/nearly-90-elephants-found-dead-near-botswana-sanctuary-killed-by-poachers
The photographs in this article are horrific, and do not show the orphaned young elephants who were dependent on their mothers for milk.
This headline from yesterday makes us more grateful to nearly 300 of our supporters who joined us at our Safari on the River fundraisers on August 26th. Together we raised money to help Conservation South Luangwa maintain their first-line defense against poachers – detection dogs. We also raised money for Chipembele Wildlife Education and Trust because our mission includes educating children to protect their inheritance, the wildlife. And we see results. Detection dogs are highly effective both as deterrents and in finding contraband (bush meat, pangolins, and especially ivory). Students are returning to the South Luangwa Valley to work with wildlife after completing their education.
Elephants thought they were safe in Botswana because the previous government under the leadership of President Ian Khama protected them, dedicated military resources to anti-poaching patrols, and handed out severe penalties to any poachers unlucky enough to be arrested. Khama stepped down when his term expired, succeeded by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who reversed Khama’s policy on banning elephant hunting. He also withdrew their anti-poaching protection and poachers moved in and slaughtered nearly 90 elephants with no regard to their families and babies. At home, our President, Donald Trump, lifted a ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, a ban that was put in place by former President Barack Obama.
Elephants leave countries where they are at a greater risk of being poached. When there is unrest in one, elephants who know no borders will escape to another place where they find safety. Elephants migrated to Botswana because they were safe. Now they will likely move again. The Zambian government values their wildlife and works to protect elephants. Their wildlife protection unit, ZAWA works in conjunction with Conservation South Luangwa, one of the nonprofits we help support. Together they make the South Luangwa Valley less hospitable for poachers and give elephants a fighting chance to reproduce and increase their numbers. Elephants in the South Luangwa Valley know they are safer there, but it’s a daily battle to protect them.
There are about 365,000 elephants left on the African Continent. They are perilously close to becoming extinct in the next ten years without our help. We stand behind the countless heroes who dedicate their lives to protecting wildlife. Please, your support is more critical than ever. If you missed on Safari on the River, you can donate on our website. A dollar goes a long way in Zambia where annual salaries are modest compared to ours. Africa Hope Fund spends very little money on overhead. We donate our time and expertise and rely on volunteers. Any donation you make is well-spent, effective, and helps save wildlife. Help us prevent sights like this in Zambia. Give elephants and other wildlife a chance today so our grandchildren will know them.