Tuesday, May 28, 2013


 Elephant herd in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, 1997, from a color xerox of my original photo.

You can SAVE ELEPHANTS via the Amara Conservation Group LINK (and its blogsite LINK for additional info.) They work towards preservation of the African Elephant, still massively endangered by ivory poachers. My own visit to Kenya (LINK) demonstrated firsthand what effort it takes to saveguard assorted wildlife. Each rhinoceros required its own personal guardian with an AK-47 or UZI, tactfully hidden behind bushes when tourists approached. One can't just dehorn or detusk animals still in the wild to prevent their loss of life to poachers: these animals need their horns and tusks to protect themselves and their young.

The Amara group also is championed by Retrokimmer, see her LINK about the Ann Arbor, Michigan connection, also famed guitarist Steve Hunter's blog on same LINK.

You can SAVE ELEPHANTS via the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee LINK southwest of Nashville, below the I-40, open to the public. There are many retirees from circuses so you'll find lots of Indian Elephants (more trainable and genial to humans than the African variety) as well as rehabbed African ones from formerly untenable situations. It operates on a 2,700 acre complex that gives their elephants the elbow room this species really requires for maximum health, and provides all elephant comers requisite medical attention. It costs about $133K per elephant annually for care. There are various donation options, and VIP donors + guests get private tours in small groups. 

I myself try to SAVE ALL EAST AFRICAN WILDLIFE by donating to The William Holden Wildlife Foundation, LINK.  I saw its work in action at their wildlife sanctuary adjacent the Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club Hotel* in Nanyuki, Kenya when my better half and I stayed there in 1997. At the sanctuary, dik-diks and hyraxes quite understandably were drawn to him, while I adored petting the rare bongo antelopes. Besides its animal sanctuary, the foundation concentrates bigtime on education of the younger generations to appreciate its wildlife as lucrative national treasures via tourism, uppermost in Kenya's economy alongside Dole's pineapple production. This preventative action works wonders: otherwise, the locals view their unique fauna as "the norm," taken for granted, how we would see squirrels, pigeons or coyotes in the larger scheme of nature...

*then just monickered Mt. Kenya Safari Club, a 5-star hotel, the best accommodations of my entire life! We rode horses around Mt. Kenya, and went to sleep with animal sounds around our private cabins that required fireplaces blazing at night to ward off the mountain chill. No tv, just ibises outside on the veranda in the mild drizzle. Heaven. 

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