Possibly the worst task when preparing Safaritalk on a daily basis is the compiling of the Conservation News Headlines, with so many depressing reports about our treatment of African wildlife and one example is the recent estimate that in the last year, 23,000 elephants were slaughtered to satisfy the increasing demands for ivory from the Far East. Despite positive reports from South Africa, (so much so they are once again considering a cull) and Botswana, in other areas of the continent herds are being decimated. It seems that the 1989 ban on international sales of ivory is but a fading memory and unless something is done soon one of Africa's most enigmatic animals will be wiped out in certain regions. It is thanks to such entities as The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org that this situation is being brought to the media's attention and we can all help in some small way by making a donation to help. But alongside the sadness comes hope, and there was a very interesting article by the BBC regarding a project in Gabon to reintroduce orphaned gorillas into the wild and more details can be found here.
And perhaps the best news from the past couple of weeks is the announcement in Paulin's Gorilla blog of the birth of a baby gorilla in the Virunga National Park. This comes only months after at least 2 adults were killed and butchered by rebel groups. Named Ndeze (pronounced Deze), after a local tribal chief who died just two days before the birth, this gives the whole world hope that such an endangered species may just pull through with the dedicated help of Rangers like Paulin.
So, until next time, Safari njema!
The Game Warden