August 12th was officially #WorldElephantDay and just a little over a week before that was the New York City Ivory Crush, where nearly 2 tons of illegal ivory was confiscated and destroyed through state enforcement efforts. The ivory pieces were in several states – trinkets, tusks, statues and other decorative type items. The event brought together several conservation groups, government and private companies and celebrities to show their support and elevate the awareness of the current plight of elephants around the world.
Included amongst the crowd was one of our Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund board members, Veronika Borchers – to capture the event and show support during such a crucial demonstration.
When it comes to wildlife conservation, the real challenge lies in conveying the urgency of the many ongoing threats to a broader audience, particularly those living in highly developed urban environments. There is a tangible disconnect from nature; a sense of abstraction and remoteness, as if these matters are of no immediate consequence. The ivory crush in Central Park was a concerted effort to bring the plight of elephants into the forefront: directly to our doorstep. It served as an important reminder of our roles as stewards of the natural world. Unless people truly understand the interconnectedness of it all; the global impact of not only the loss of an iconic keystone species, but also the far reaching political and economic implications of the ivory trade, it will surely be impossible to put a stop to it. It is crucial for us all to grasp that we can play a vital role in the survival of the species, even from afar, simply by using our voices, supporting conservation efforts and consuming consciously. – V. Borchers
At MWCT HQ – here in Kenya, our Conservation program works tirelessly to keep illegal activities such as bushmeat poaching, at a minimum. Due to our efforts in protecting our neighboring wildlife such as Elephants, we had a significant 61% decrease in bushmeat poaching within a years time and had ZERO elephant poaching in 2016. The studying and protection of the African elephant (Loxodonta Africana) is a top priority for MWCT. Our rangers have been trained in tracking and monitoring elephants and all sightings, both direct and indirect, are recorded on the rangers monitoring devices. Elephant conservation is succeeding on the Kuku Group Ranch and we have been effective in our security and anti-poaching efforts as shown in the graph below.
We hope to continue to provide successful numbers this year.
See below for photos taken during the Ivory Crush at Central Park, NYC
Photo Credits: Veronika Borchers