Even though I’m a total bug nerd, I had the opportunity to be part of something that felt big and important when I was in Kenya (believe me, I think bee conservation is big and important too, but it’s not the pressing issue in Kenya). Classic conservation programs surround charismatic megafauna like elephants and pandas, and those are the ones that attract the most sympathy. The plight of the elephants is real…they are so threatened by poachers that in parts of Mozambique, more and more elephants are born without tusks. Meanwhile, in Kenya the great tuskers are being hunted down and murdered one by one (including one from Tsavo that was killed shortly after I left this year: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/06/poachers-kill-satao-ii-elephant-kenya-tsavo-big-tusker).
If you care about the plight of the elephants, you can donate to Save the Elephants…I can tell you from personal experience that it is a great program, with a lot of dedicated people who spend their lives (and risk their lives) trying to save elephants. They use their donations well: for research, for community development, for education, and most of all, for the people and equipment needed to track and protect elephants.
If you care about people as well as elephants and want to donate to something that helps both simultaneously, donate to the Elephants and Bees program of Save the Elephants (that video features Nzumu, who worked at the research camp while I was there!). I’ve never met a conservationist as earnest and dedicated as Dr. Lucy King.
This is the last post of elephant week here on SOIMF*, but feel free to go back and read the earlier posts! I’m sure elephants will come up again in the future at some point ;).
*Standing Out In My Field