Ebony & Ivory.
Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney’s 80s hit vocalises racial harmony using ivory as a powerful metaphor for positive change.
In stark contrast to the joyful concept it held 30 years ago, today ivory sadly symbolises the oppression of elephants and the poaching crisis in Africa, in particular Tanzania.
1. sourced from elephants without the loss of life
2. symbol of prosperity
3. profit generator in market of weapons
The culmination of these misconceived and corrupted ideas has amplified the illegal trade in recent years.
As a safari guide and African enthusiast, we’ve witnessed first hand the detrimental consequences elephant poaching directly has on Tanzania’s tourism.
‘But aren’t you scared of rebels?’
This was a frequented question when I first travelled to Africa. When I was continually drawn back to the continent the question turned into, 'What's so special about that place?'
When we visited South Africa at the height of the Ebola endemic, a close friend of mine isolated herself from me for 3 weeks after my return, ‘just in case.’
less elephants = less tourism
The bleak image of wildlife criminals stalking elephants accentuates the negative attitude towards Africa seeing it as a volatile and risky environment; demotivating traveller’s to visit the region.
While elephant poaching continues, the diversity of the ecosystem is mutated, further affecting Africa’s allure. And as their safety is compromised, behavioural changes can be seen in elephants, becoming aggressive and posing threats to humans.
In this world, negative is interesting and sells, leaving Africa as the scapegoat of corporate media. Truth is, the continent is abundant with biodiversity, natural landscapes, peaceful villages and organic produce.
A CALL TO ACTION
As traveller’s we hold the responsibility to elevate awareness against elephant poaching and dispel the skepticism towards Africa.
We are called to join the battle by visiting countries where elephants live in the wild. There’s no experience quite as humbling as having a herd of elephants tread past within metres of your safari vehicle. So let's share insights and hold conversations and let there majesty, beauty and intelligence be known.
We’ve all experienced the power social media has in communicating experiences, and it is here we can take advantage of this potent tool to navigate change. Tweet #WorldElephantDay and #BeHerd
This year the theme for World Elephant Day is activism. Activism – the act of vigorous campaigning to bring about social change. Click here for more info on how to help the elephants.
So let’s be a part of this worldwide venture. Save the elephants and share this page.