It’s World Elephant Day – a day committed to bringing the world together to protect the elephant.
“Elephant numbers have dropped by 62% over the last decade, and they could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade. An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts, leaving only 400,000 remaining…. Female African elephants have tusks and are also killed, which has a terrible effect on the stability of elephant societies, leaving an increasing number of orphaned baby elephants. As of 2017, there are still more African elephants being killed for ivory than are being born. . . elephant populations continue to decline.” (http://worldelephantday.org/about/elephants/)
Few reading these statistics would fail to be moved by the plight faced by such a magnificent species. But most will invariably ask, “What can I do? How do I, as one human, save an entire species?” The insurmountability of making any difference will usually result in the matter being cast aside to the far recesses of one’s consciousness, to be uncomfortably plucked upon occasionally when looking at a picture or reading a story or headline in the news.
In all the years of our experience with elephants, perhaps the most profound single takeaway we have to share is this… Just ONE makes a world of difference. One life saved. One decision made. One person committed. One lesson taught, and learned. One mindset changed. It always starts with just one. The story of the Camp Jabulani elephants is well-known. Those who have not heard it can read it here.
One woman, Lente Roode, made the decision almost 20 years ago to take in a baby elephant – despite being told by many experts that the tiny infant would never make it. That it was a futile exercise. They were all wrong, and young Jabulani survived.
The same woman, five years later, again faced huge odds when she put together a rescue mission to save a herd of trained elephants from a dreadful fate at a private farm in Zimbabwe. “You’ll never succeed”, they said. But she did, and all of the elephants survived the long journey home to Hoedspruit.
Through the conceptualization and construction of a single Lodge called Camp Jabulani, thousands and thousands of people from around the world have had the life-changing opportunity of interacting – very personally – with an elephant. These people have returned home, many forever changed. They have shared their stories with friends and colleagues, and the ripple of awareness has multiplied like a pebble in still waters. Just one company has had this impact.
One decision was bravely made to terminate Camp Jabulani’s elephant-back safaris in April 2017 by Adine Roode. This set the example to hundreds of operations around the world, also in the business of bringing humans and animals together. Treat animals with care and respect. Let them be free, wherever possible. But never forsake your responsibility to protect them!
One family of elephants has helped to create the blueprint to a successful and scalable model of elephant care – specifically relating to young orphans left motherless. How many young lives will be saved as a result? How many new families formed?
So you see…. It always starts with just one. Be the change you wish to see in this world, and your power is immeasurable.
Let your voice be heard, to anyone who will listen. Help to educate people, not only about the plight of vulnerable animal species, but also about the responsibility that we have in protecting the animals in OUR custody on this planet. Be the living example of just one person doing whatever possible to make a change.You will send off your own ripple into this world, and set about the wheels of change. You alone can do it.
“Elephant numbers have DROPPED BY 62% OVER THE LAST DECADE, and they could be mostly EXTINCT BY THE END OF THE NEXT DECADE. AN ESTIMATED 100 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS ARE KILLED EACH DAY by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts, leaving only 400,000 remaining…. As of 2017, there are still MORE AFRICAN ELEPHANTS BEING KILLED FOR IVORY THAN ARE BEING BORN…”
Can you ignore this now? What are YOU going to do about it?
• My elephant experience in Africa, by Chloe Grotto student researcher
• The story of a rescued elephant herd
• Meet the Jabulani elephant herd
• Meet the elephant caregivers
• How you can get involved
Camp Jabulani Family