Wednesday, April 24, 2013


TSAVO’S ELEPHANTS UNDER FIRE There is something magical and deeply mysterious about Tsavo. Besides being one of the world’s largest and most important protected areas, spanning 16,000 square miles in Kenya (roughly the size of Wales) it is considered one of Africa’s last truly wild and untamed regions.

Its natural beauty and incredible biodiversity will drop you to your knees in awe. As Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick eloquently reflects, "What is it that makes Tsavo such a compelling and magical obsession for those of us who know it well and love it unreservedly. It is the big skies, the space that extends beyond each horizon - it is its denizens who live in this, their land from the largest land mammals on earth - the majestic elephants and those that are living legends with massive ivory, but also the contrasting seasons that transform the landscape over night in response to even a little rain.

The dry seasons have their own beauty and magic, twisted trees devoid of foliage but with magic shapes, the towering red castles of clay inhabited by the termite workers of the world, the rocks studded with garnets and bejeweled with glittering quartz and the hushed voices of the natural world when one listens to the silence.”

Tsavo is home to Kenya’s single largest remaining elephant population estimated [2011] to be about 12,000. In the late 1960’s Tsavo was blessed with over 35,000 elephants and everywhere you looked there were free roaming elephants. Magnificent bulls carrying tusks that touched the ground were frequently encountered and admired. Today, Tsavo is at the epicenter of Kenya’s poaching epidemic placing her last surviving “big tuskers” in peril.

Conservationists agree that Tsavo may harbor the world’s last viable gene pool of elephants carrying tusks that touch the ground and weigh in at over 100 pounds. Very few “big tuskers” remain in all of Africa with Tsavo sheltering as few as 4 and possibly as many as 12. Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick states, “Elephant Bulls who carry enormous Ivory Tusks that touch the ground are the true majestic monuments of the wilderness.

Their majestic bearing epitomizes grandeur and nobility, power and stature and is a spectacle of awesome magnificence. They are the Emperors of the Elephant World; true Kings whose mere presence demands the respect and admiration of all, and none more so than their Elephant peers both large and small.

Sadly, in today's world, all elephants that carry ivory, even those with small tusks, are under siege due to the demand for ivory in countries of the Far East, especially China. Poaching is driving these magnificent animals towards extinction, and those Emperors of the Elephant World are becoming extremely rare due to the evil and greed of humankind.” READ MORE

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