I was overjoyed to recently team up with Amarula who, in partnership with WildlifeDirect, are continuing to work to protect one of Africa’s most precious animals, the African Elephant.
Amarula hosted us to an event where the plight of elephants was outlined and we heard a talk from Dr. Paula Kahumbu, a foremost authority on African elephants and CEO of WildlifeDirect who shared some staggering facts about the extinction of elephants – every 15 minutes somewhere in the world an elephant dies, that is a hard hitting and sobering fact indeed!
Says Dr Kahumbu, “What many people don’t realise is that the future of the African elephant is at a tipping point, and this could have a far-reaching effect on the greater African habitat, because elephants are keystone species. This means that they play an indispensable role in the healthy functioning of the larger ecosystem.”
The sad fact that hot home for me was that humans have poached animals into extinction throughout history, with large mammals having been most affected. Elephants, one of Africa’s most iconic giants are the largest land mammals on Earth, part of the big five and are estimated to live for up to 70 years without human interference.
If elephants were to disappear off the face of the earth, the ecosystem would change dramatically or cease to exist altogether. This might be a reality at the rate that things are going – around 96 African elephants are poached for their ivory every day, that’s one elephant every 15 minutes.
They face extinction due to poaching. With the last few remaining species of giant mammals, including elephants largely confined to Africa, it’s up to humans to know better and do better. World Elephant Day, an international annual event that takes place on 12 August is dedicated to raising awareness about the preservation and protection of elephants.
In a heartfelt attempt to raise awareness on World Elephant Day, Amarula in partnership with WildlifeDirect, launched their “Don’t Let Them Disappear” campaign in various markets across the globe, including Duty Free, the United States, South Africa, Canada, Brazil and Germany.
We were interested to be part of one of the multiple life-size elephant ice sculptures which appeared in key cities, Johannesburg, Toronto and Sao Paolo. As these massive elephant ice sculptures slowly melted, it dramatically symbolised the disappearance of elephants. This lead to mass awareness, as people from different cities around the world witnessed these elephant ice sculptures slowly disappearing before their eyes.
The sculptures were made from recycled water and once fully melted the water would be used on gardens in and around the Melrose Arch Precinct, where our event was hosted.
Spectators were encouraged to join the experience and spread the message on social media by using the hashtags #DontLetThemDisappear and #WorldElephantDay.
Today, Dr. Kahumbu is globally recognised for her efforts. WildlifeDirect formed a partnership with Amarula in 2016 to raise awareness about the importance of conserving the endangered African Elephant. For more information please visit http://wildlifedirect.org