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Saving African Elephants—An Inspiration
I dedicate my first blog to the founders of the Endangered Species Protection Fund, a non-profit recently formed in Seattle by a small group of dedicated, conservation-minded people to oppose the ongoing illegal slaughter of African elephants. It’s easy to read about such grim practices in the media and wish the world was a better place—but Africa’s so far away, and what can we do, anyway? It’s an entirely different thing, however, to look deep within oneself to find the inspiration and motivation to gather a group of committed individuals, develop a plan to make a difference, and then act on it. Kudos to Scott Nelson, the founder of ESPFund, and the intrepid souls joining him in this quest to stop the heartless annihilation of a gentle and intelligent species for profit—blood money.
As this is written, Scott is in Kenya, taking time off from his job to meet with the front line defense in the war against illegal poaching of elephants for ivory—to offer resources and support. Protecting an intelligent species of mammals from extinction is a noble calling. Scott and his family and friends have touched the best of the human spirit, a selfless commitment to protect gentle beings from the worst in human nature—callousness, violence and greed.
African elephants are extremely intelligent and sensitive animals with long memories and a life span of about 70 years. They live in matriarchal herds that guide and protect their young and form close relationships, much like other intelligent mammal species. The population of African elephants has declined dramatically in recent years due to reduction of habitat, encroachment of human populations, and poaching for the illicit ivory trade. Elephants need more protection than can be provided from the limited resources of African nations. It’s heartening to know that our jaded society can still produce a few inspired and motivated folks like Scott Nelson and his cadre at the Endangered Species Protection Fund who are taking action to make a difference. Please check out www.espfund.org and pass it on!