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Things have improved since the dark days of 2011 and 2012 when ivory poaching across Africa appeared to be spiralling out of control and conservations began to contemplate the unthinkable: the extinction of the African elephant. On World Elephant Day 2016 there are grounds for cautious optimism. Nevertheless, it is too soon to assert that Africa’s elephants are safe.
By Paula Kahumbu
In Kenya, when you hear that “Things are Elephant,” it means there’s a major problem. That’s why we chose this as the title for the first ever debate of its kind, organized by WildlifeDirect, on the future of elephants.
World Elephant Day was celebrated around the world yesterday, with pageantry, song and dance, events and activities. Everyone was wearing grey. But for award-winning conservationist and CEO of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumba, Elephant Day could hardly be described as “fun.” “I sat for nearly nine hours with my team in a government waiting room at the office of the Chief of Police, in Nairobi to deliver a letter…an offer to raise funds to help in the arrest of suspected ivory kingpin Feizal Ali Mohamed, who has been a fugitive since June 1.” Has her offer fallen on deaf ears?
Wildlife conservationist Paula Kahumbu writes that Kenya stands at the crossroads of turning things around for elephants. The authorities need to recognize that poaching and ivory trafficking are serious crimes and immediately elevate penalties for wildlife crimes.
“At the age of 6 to 9, I was responsible for my fathers cows,” says Richard Turere, now 13, and having just spoken in front of about 1500 people at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. “And these lions were very annoying, because they were killing my father’s cows.” Taking his responsibility seriously, Richard…
Nairobi National Park is likely one of the most visited protected areas in all of Africa, home to wildlife including lions and other big cats that are possibly viewed by more people than any others in Africa. Yesterday morning, six lions were killed just outside the protected area. Big Cats Initiative Grantee Dr. Paula Kahumbu is dedicated to protecting…
Paula Kahumbu, National Geographic grantee and Buffet Prize winner, writes about an innovative solution to save lions. It’s originator is 13 year old Richard Turere. Family portrait of lioness and her cubs, Nairobi National Park, Stuart Pimm. Lions, once ubiquitous in Africa and Asia are now in big trouble of going extinct in the wild.…
This year’s winners of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation are a community leader of the Huaorani people from the Ecuadorian Amazon, and a Kenyan wildlife conservationist who uses blogs to connect conservationists with supporters around the world.