Tuesday, March 26, 2013

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Annual Report 2012

Annual reports usually focus solely on a company or an organization, identifying directors, highlighting a year's developments, and providing lots of statistics. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Annual Report is not, however, a run of the mill report. This account from a leading wildlife conservation organization offers readers an up-close view of the critical situation brought about by the increase in poaching in Africa and efforts being made to resolve the crisis.

2012 was a difficult year as over 1000 elephants were poached in Kenya alone. The force behind the crimes is the growing demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations. In the report is the year's poaching news, a litany of elephant death and the arrest of numerous Chinese nationals caught trying to smuggle ivory out of Africa. Efforts to stem the demand included a publicity campaign featuring basketball star Yao Ming telling the Chinese people not to buy ivory. Apparently many Chinese people believe that elephants shed tusks and grow more. Of course, some Chinese people do know the true story yet still long for ivory, a traditional status symbol.

What is being done to help the elephants? The beautifully-illustrated 104-page report details the work of the trust, which rescues dozens of orphaned elephants each year. Readers also learn that the trust works with rhinoceroses and small hoofed animals, providing a second chance for a variety of infants whose parents have been poached or otherwise died. I particularly like seeing photos of the elephant keepers tending and playing with the elephants.

The report online includes links so you can help with the effort.

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