Elephants may just be the world’s most majestic animals. Their size, their lifestyle and the way they organise their societies makes them seem so mature and kind that it is nearly impossible not to love them.
For elephant lovers, which many of us are, one of the key questions we ask ourselves everyday is ‘what can I do to help?’
The overwhelming fear of a world without elephants is overpowering. It spurs us into action. The truth is, much of the world is, sadly, without elephants. Our remaining elephant populations are becoming isolated to smaller and smaller areas and their population sizes are
In Tsavo, we are doing all we can to protect the last of the Big Tuskers – a sub-section of the African elephant population that is even more at risk and whose existence on this earth is under threat every single second of the day.
Hope is not lost, however. With a drastic shift in attitudes and a re-allocation of funds, we could innovate rapidly and solve the issues that are holding elephant populations back. Just look at the speed in which scientists and medical professionals have created the vaccine for COVID-19 – this is a clear example of what we can do when we all come together behind one goal.
What can you do to help?
Until we all come together, there are several ways that you as an individual can help elephant conservation organisations protect what remains and support the communities who are doing all they can to protect elephants.
Campaigning can come in various forms. Some campaigners focus on putting pressure on politicians whereas others focus on spreading awareness to others who are unaware of the plight of the world’s elephants.
Petitions are a good form of campaigning but is you want to get more involved then, depending on your country, you might be able to attend a march or protest. In Kenya, there is an annual Global March For Elephants and Rhinos which also takes place in 60 other countries and could be a good opportunity for you to make your voice heard.
There are also countless other organisations and marches and events that you can attend which will also have the same effect.
Another great way of helping elephants is to volunteer. Whether it is in Africa or Asia, there are plenty of sanctuaries or conservation organisations which offer packages where you can go out and help with activities such as data collection, research on elephant behaviour, teach English to local communities and many other useful tasks.
Volunteering can be an extremely enriching and unforgettable experience and you could have the opportunity to be around elephants – a dream come true for an elephant lover. However, volunteering is not for everyone as it requires an abundance of time and money which not all of us have.
It is also important to note that some organisations may advertise themselves as ‘shelters’ but will in fact just use your desire to help to take money from you. They may not even care about the welfare of the elephants in their custody. This is the kind of thing that negatively impacts elephant populations and should be avoided at all costs.
Whilst spreading awareness through campaigns and volunteering to the cause are extremely helpful, the single most effective thing you can do to help is to donate. This is because there are plenty of amazing organisations out there that are conducting a whole host of different, and expensive, projects designed to protect elephants from the various threats they face.
Whether its projects designed to prevent human-elephant conflict, or paying for ranger salaries, or having recon planes in the air, or transporting elephants from one place to another more suitable area, or performing health checks, the tasks are endless and, importantly, they are expensive.
When giving money, sometimes your donation will be spread across an organisation’s costs whereas other times it will go towards a specific project. Whilst the outcome is often the same, it is important to do your research and to not send your money to an organisation you do not believe in.
If you are interested in raising money to help elephants, whether it is a charity fun run, a bake sale or a trip up Mt. Kenya, get in contact with us at Tsavo Trust and we will see what we can do to help.
Fundraising is a good way of spreading awareness and also donating some much-needed cash to a wildlife conservation organisation.