Tag Archives: jane goodall

Ivory Crush US Resolve

Jane Goodall and Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton share about this iconic day in history - and what is needed next.

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The Greatest Danger to Elephants: Apathy

Dr. Jane Goodall is celebrating her birthday today! Her life and work inspire me in my mission to create a harmonious future for elephants and humans. She started out as an ordinary woman, a secretary. But after a trip to Gombe, all that changed as she sought to make a better world for animals and humans alike. She understood that:

Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.

I too am an ordinary individual. I am a wife, a mother to two dogs, a full-time musician, and an elephant activist. Like Dr. Goodall, I believe that every individual matters and can make a difference. That’s why I created this blog. To play my role in raising public awareness about the ivory trade.

Last month there was much blood shed. In one week, 86 elephants in Chad were killed including 33 pregnant females. Over 40 more elephants, even newborns, were killed in Cameroon. 3 poachers in Kruger National Park were shot dead. And in Thailand, a ranger was killed by poachers. This is the toll of poaching: the lives of magnificent animals, the lives of human beings.

I struggle to understand why this is happening. Surely the people in Africa don’t want to destroy a keystone species of the environment not to mention a key ecotourism attraction and national symbol. Surely the people in China want to continue their two millennium heritage of ivory carving for 2000 more years to come. But at the rate elephants are being poached, the species will be extinct by 2020.

It’s easy to place the blame on greed. Greed from poachers looking to make good money to sustain their families. Greed from consumers who desire the status symbol of ivory. Greed from countries making hundreds of millions of dollars from this illegal trade. It’s an industry that is high in financial payoff with little legal concerns. In most African countries, if caught, poachers must simply pay a small fine to the government. It’s been called a “slap on the wrist” by many. It’s an industry that easily corrupts those who desire to do good. In fact, recent news reports that many poachers-turned-rangers are now turning back to poaching because of the money.

But greed isn’t the only issue at hand, (albeit, it is a real issue that needs to be addressed). No, the greater  transgression is a quiet, hidden assassin: apathy. A lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Dr. Goodall once said,

The greatest danger to our future is apathy.

I live in the fourth largest city in America, and the average person I talk to either doesn’t know about the eco-genocide occurring, or they are not interested since it does not pertain to their daily life rhythms. But apathy is no different than poaching. It’s these people, the apathetic, that need to be roused. And I believe the only reason they lay asleep in apathy is because they don’t realize the potential agents of change each of them can be. When listening to them, it seems they hide behind their lack of concern, because they feel out of control and don’t know how else to cope with these challenges.

It’s time to awaken them with the truth, that apathy will only aid the elephant march to extinction

Yet the story doesn’t end there. The antonyms of apathy are care, eagerness, excitement, passion, sensibility & sympathy. If the 7 billion people of the world channeled their apathy to sympathy, change is not only possible, it is probable.

The lineage of elephants will not die as long as I am living to fight for them. I pledge to take up my arms of education to raise public awarenes. Join me in this. Share this blog with your friends & family. Sign THIS PETITION to tell world leaders NO to ivory poaching. Follow Elephantopia on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest elephant news. Get excited, get eager, let’s channel our passion to make a difference!

You matter, You have a role to play, You make a difference


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Monday Quote

An inspirational quote from Jane Goodall:

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

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Petition to Pope Francis

Join us as we seek to create a harmonious future for both elephants and humans in our petition to Pope Francis, asking him to Say NO to Using Ivory in Religious Art. Sign the petition today. Then share it with 5 friends. tRNWPtNvFNFsuHu-556x313-cropped

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Celebrating International Women’s Day


photo reposted from animalconnection

National Geographic’s Explorers Journal has a wonderful post honoring all women explorers. Here’s to the women in the world working hard to make a difference in the lives of humans & animals, creating a better future for our planet.

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Why Should I Care?

When I was contemplating whether or not to start this blog, this question kept going through my mind. Why should anyone care? What does it matter to the average person if elephants are roaming the African Savanna or the jungles of Thailand in twelve years? At first, I was discouraged because I didn’t see any immediate connection (other than than the fact that I absolutely love these animals and think everyone in the world should, too). But after more thought and research, I found some very compelling reasons why you should care about the plight of elephants.

  • Biodiversity and The Circle of Life: Elephants are known as a keystone speciesElephants help maintain the forest and savannah ecosystem by what they eat and excrete. In fact, it is estimated that at least a third of tree species in central African forests rely on elephants for distribution of their seeds. Elephants also create clearings and gaps in the canopy of tropical forests which allows for tree regeneration. And in the savannas, elephants reduce bush cover to create an environment favorable to a mix of browsing and grazing animals.
  • Tourist Economies: Many countries around the world rely on tourism to boost their economy. In places like Kenya, the government has goals to eradicate poverty by 2030, one of the means being through safari tourism. However, with poachers carrying high tech equipment (night goggles, high powered riffles, access to helicopters), rangers in the parks are finding themselves in battles with armed criminals. This is not a safe environment for tourists, rangers or elephants (read some great facts on this from the NYTimes and an interview with a poacher-turned-conservationist). And local villagers are also turning against poaching as the illegal wildlife trade fuels crime, corruption, instability and inter-communal fighting.
  • Poaching Kills People: While at least 25,000 elephants have been slaughtered in Africa in 2011 alone, hundreds of humans have also died as a result of poaching. Rangers in parks are not trained military personnel. They are trained scientists, studying and patrolling the parks for research and safety. However, when they come upon armed poachers, too often rangers are injured or killed. In fact, there are areas of wildlife parks in Kenya where rangers are not allowed to patrol since it is a heavy poaching zone. On the other hand, there are anti-poaching groups that also patrol the parks, purposefully seeking to injure or kill poachers. As long as poaching continues, it will fuel brutal human deaths.
  • Poaching Creates Corruption: Ivory is selling for more than gold and narcotics. With this kind of money involved, corruption occurs all over the world through all sorts of personnel (rangers, police, politicians, wardens, businessmen, customs officials and more).
  • National Security Issue: Hilary Clinton recently spoke out about the ivory trade and how the corruption that is linked with the trade makes this an issue for American national security, especially since America is the second largest destination market for illegally trafficked wildlife in the world (second behind China).
  • Ethically Moral: We know the effects poaching is having on the lives of humans, economies, and biodiversities around the world. To do nothing but stand idly by is odious.

JaneGoodallHere’s some ways to start making a change today.

SHARE - this page with your friends and family.

SIGN - the petition for the March CITES conference, asking for ivory to be banned. There are just not enough elephants in the world to support the demand for ivory, legal or not.

FOSTER - an elephant through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

READ - continue to educate yourself on this issue. Check out the book list here, and share others you may have already read.

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