Save the Elephants’ beehive fencing keeps elephants out of crops while giving farmers honey to sell or eat. Developed by Dr Lucy King, the fences have been wildly popular wherever they have been deployed in Africa. When elephant organisations in Asia heard the buzz they asked if it might work for them too, despite the fact that their bees lack the notorious aggression of Africa’s. Last month Lucy went out to Sri Lanka to start testing whether Asian elephants react in the same way to the sound of disturbed bees, and to start work with the communities to explore the use of beehive fences. On the way she met a rather unique elephant….
An intrepid team of adventurers is close to the African coast after rowing almost 4,000 miles across some of the world’s most unpredictable waters in aid of Save the Elephants. The trip across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Africa has never been accomplished before, despite 37 attempts. The crew of six men and one woman are led by ocean row skipper Leven Brown, and include Jamie Douglas-Hamilton, cousin of STE founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton. So far they have survived 60-foot waves, multiple capsizes, hundreds of swampings, stalking sharks, the mid-ocean evacuation of a crewmember and a collision with a whale.
Following the arrival of a new anti-poaching patrol vehicle to the south of Samburu Reserve in 2011 the number of elephants killed for ivory every year there has halved despite a tripling in the price of ivory in China. Now the STE/WCN Elephant Crisis Fund has funded a second vehicle to protect the north.
As anyone who has seen a wild elephant up close and personal can tell you, nothing beats the real thing. To help Samburu school kids connect with the importance of nature – a critical thing for the future of Kenya’s northern rangelands – STE’ took a group of lucky winners out for an educational bush camp.
Keeping up the pressure on the big ivory markets will be key to ending the elephant poaching crisis. STE has lent its weight to efforts to get Japan’s largest online retailer, Rakuten, owner of Play.com, to stop selling ivory. The company was earlier named and shamed as the world’s largest online retailer of ivory.
The hunt is on for an ivory trade kingpin who remains on the run despite an arrest warrant issued six weeks ago. Despite the hard work and bravery of Kenya’s wildlife protection forces, the bosses that mastermind ivory crime still walk free. The STE / WCN Elephant Crisis Fund is trying to change the game.
Our Mission: To secure a future for elephants and sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live, to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.
ATCNews : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome is the publisher of ATCNews, Eastern Africa’s leading aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 45 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.