Dear WildlifeDirect Family,
Each day, nearly 100 elephants are massacred in Africa.
As the elephant population continues to approach extinction, the demand for ivory in Asia continues to accelerate. Given the severity of poaching and the extremely slow reproduction rate, the 400,000 remaining elephants may not survive our lifetime in the wild. As troubling as this might be, I remain hopeful.
WildlifeDirect, under the leadership of our CEO Dr. Paula Kahumbu, has been at the forefront of efforts to stop the poaching and stem the trafficking of ivory through Kenya. Through WildlifeDirect’s flagship campaign, Hands Off Our Elephants, we have pushed through legal reforms resulting in the conviction of one of Kenya’s most notorious ivory traffickers, Feisal Mohammed Ali. Since its launch just three years ago, the campaign has been pivotal in reducing illegal poaching and trafficking of elephants by 80%. With your help, we are demonstrating that elephants and the lands they inhabit are not quaint African relics, but the birthright of this generation and those following.
Through our work and with partners, elephant conservation has achieved national importance and this April, Kenya made history when President Uhuru Kenyatta set aflame 105 tons of ivory and 1.5 tons of rhino horn—the world’s largest destruction of ivory in history. The 11 pyres, representing the remains of nearly 8,000 elephants and 400 rhinos, burned for four days and made headlines across the globe. This historic burn signaled the country’s commitment to ending the illegal wildlife trade and the protection of these precious animals.
While great strides have been made in Kenya, poaching remains rampant in other parts of Africa and elephants continue to struggle to coexist with humankind. As you read this, we mourn the loss of the nearly 35,000 elephants killed continent-wide this year alone.
Today, we need to do so much more. We simply cannot succeed without you. Please join me in supporting WildlifeDirect and make a year-end gift so that our “voice” can continue to save elephants, rhinos and so much more. You can be sure of my unending thanks.
Chairman, Board of Directors