Regular readers of this blog will know how passionate I am about elephants. There is just something so majestic and prehistoric about the way they carry themselves – families trundling through the forest of central and south Africa, or Asia, trunks aloft, their valuable tusks reflecting sunshine and sometimes protecting them from predators (human and animal), and sometimes not.
As I write this post in late July 2015, the global public outcry over the hunting death of Cecil – a beloved African lion who had been kept secure in a national park until he was lured out by paid scouts and killed by an American trophy hunter – continues. There have always been hunters of big game (the American president Theodore Roosevelt was perhaps among the best known of his time), but as these animals become more and more endangered, I feel that there must be more of a concerted effort to protect lions, and tigers, bears, and elephants.
We are far away from the time when folk songs captured the majesty of a sleeping feline in the jungle (the lion sleeps tonight), but if more efforts are not made now to take care, our children and their children will not have the opportunity to see these animals in the wild or elsewhere.
I was sickened to learn that there are farms in Africa where tigers are raised so as to provide living targets for hunters. It’s called ‘canned hunting’ (you can read more about it here) and it tries to dodge the restrictions against killing endangered species by breeding them for the kill.
Sign the petition against this practice here.
I love the work that the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust does for and with elephants, but in case ellies aren’t your thing, here is a list of the top ten conservation projects around the world.
I’ve just ordered three copies of this classic elephant vintage poster (Cappiello’s Nil). If you mention this blog post when purchasing that poster, I will donate 10% of the purchase price to the Sheldrick Trust or any other conservation organization of your choice.
And if you have trouble going to sleep tonight, you might want to listen to this … it’ll make you sleepy, happy, and full of elephant dreams.