Welcome to my first blog—check it out!

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!

 

3 Responses to Welcome to my first blog—check it out!

  • I am also fascinated with the majesty of elephants. I went and copied part of a paper I wrote on whether or not animals have culture (my stance was that they most certainly do). “Elephants in some parts of the world appear to be becoming increasingly violent. We now have a Human – Elephant conflict. The elephants seem to be reacting to more than the violence humans enact against them. Elephants are used to having a large supportive familial matriarchy around them; such groups have now often been culled. Scientists have also discovered that, for young male elephants, it is critical for emotional regulation to have contact with an older male. It has been found that the introduction of just one older male elephant decreases the violent acts of a whole group of younger males. I admit I found the research on this subject to be quite depressing. We seem to be killing off elephant culture.”
    I am pleased to hear this group is DOING something. I try to look for the heroes in life, they make it easier to be hopeful. Mr. Rodgers said when terrible things happened, his Mother told him to “Look for the helpers”. I think they restore our faith in humanity.

  • Domini, I think elephants and humans have more in common than meets the eye–such as the need for the old men to moderate the impulsiveness of young males! I’m excited to see the organizers of the ESPFund starting a grassroots action to stop the senseless killing of elephants.

  • On behalf of Endangered Species Protection Fund, thank you so much for the support! For those who are interested, please also look for updates and photos from the Kenya adventure on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ESPFundOrg

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