Category Archives: Wildlife

Burn the Ivory – Save the Elephants

BtI-bl-LThe creative Team was back in Amsterdam. We used the opportunity to pose with our “Burn The Ivory I Save the Elephant bracelet”. This picture will be added to the growing gallery of elephant ambassadors of the Burn the Ivory initiative. They are trying to bring global awareness to the elephant poaching crisis. The destruction of confiscated ivory stockpiles worldwide would ensure that illegal ivory cannot be laundered into the market fueling the continuous slaughter of elephants. History has proven that the sale of ivory cannot be controlled nor does a legal ivory market reduce demand. The world must take a stand now or we will lose the elephant. Once they are gone we can never bring them back. Become part of the solution by purchasing a Burn the Ivory I Save the Elephant bracelet.

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The killing of elephants has to STOP – you can HELP!

T&S-STOPWhile making Tata&Squack – Mission Elephant, we realized that chances are small that wild elephants will be part of our children’s future. One elephant is killed every 15 minutes. At this rate none will be roaming wild in 2025. The killing has to STOP – we have to ACT – you can HELP! Make a difference, be an elephant ambassador. There are a lot of great organizations that work with elephants. To give you an overview we have  portrayed some of them on our website. Support them or adopt an elephant. Join Tata&Squack on Mission Elephant. Tell their story to your children. The book creates awareness of elephants and how special they are in a child friendly way. To survive elephants need our voice and especially our children’s voices.

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Desert Rhino camp – rocky deserts and ancient beasts

DesertRhino

We just returned from a great trip to Namibia. Our first stop was Desert Rhino Camp in Damaraland, where they have the largest free-ranging population of black rhino in Africa. The rhinos are well protected due to a unique conservation approach where the local community plays an important role, together with Save the Rhino Trust and the government. We hope that this model will be able to withstand the changing rules of the game, where poaching has become a multimillion dollar business. Around Desert Rhino Camp the sweeping valleys are dotted with scattered euphorbia and ancient welwitschia plants, with impressive table top mountains in the background. In the early mornings trackers will go out and try to find the rhinos, who seem to prefer the most remote areas. It is amazing that they are able to survive in this rocky desert. We were lucky to witness the last traces of the rain which had turned part of the area into a green meadow for a short time. This resulted in a concentration of mountain zebras, oryx and springbok on the grassy plains. Even a big family of lions had a feast in this short time of plenty. We enjoyed most of our meals outside, around the campfire, while listening to the staff singing songs and Chris Bakkes reciting poems. He is a noted South African writer, but also a passionate guide and conservation who has lived and worked in this area for years.

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Work in progress on Phanhabs Jungle book

BabyGorillaWe have just returned from a trip to Tanzania and Rwanda, watching primates. The hikes were sometimes long and itchy, because of the vegetation, but we took some amazing pictures of jungle landscapes with chimpanzees, gorillas, and a lot of other animals. It will be a lot harder to fill the pages of this Phanhabs book, because the jungle hides it’s inhabitants well. The tracks and the sounds tell you that the animals are there, but taking pictures takes a lot of luck, patience and hard work. The gorilla baby on the picture lives on a jungle slope at 2.700 m. To get there was quite an expedition. On the way there we were lucky to see a small family of bush elephants, a very rare sighting. I am glad Squack Evans is allowing us to use his pictures for this book, because as a guide he has more photo opportunities than we have on our holidays. So, for the coming years it will be work in progress on the Phanhabs jungle book…

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Elephants may be gone soon – unless something happens

LostElephhantsLast fall we visited Samburu National Reserve in Kenya to research the new Tata&Squack elephant adventure. We were in awe of the majestic animals. Touched by the caring they display for each other. Amazed by the stories how elephants grieve their dead and yet have the courage to turn the page and get on with life. There are lots of things they still can teach us humans. Therefore I am sad to read that between December and January, 21 elephants have been killed in the Samburu area only. The last elephant to be killed being Phyllo, a 20-year old male, felled with six bullets, his face and tusks gone.

But there is hope for change. The elephant expert Iain Douglas-Hamilton and his wife, Oria, welcomed yet another Chinese goodwill ambassador at the Elephant Watch Camp. In 1993 the Douglas-Hamiltons, established the Save the Elephants organization to promote better understanding and preservation of the world’s largest land mammal. Li Bingbing, a Chinese actress is launching a new campaign in China with UNEP and Save the Elephants to stop the illegal ivory trade. Stepping up to the challenge, Li wants to raise awareness how the demand in China is fueling the killing of elephants in Africa. Like many people in China, Li asserts that ignorance in consumer countries is the enemy of elephants. The world can no longer ignore the reality that elephants may be gone within decades, unless something drastic happens to stop the slaughter.

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The Sheldrick Elephant Nursery

Orphans-ProjectInfant African elephants are extremely fragile, which makes hand-rearing them into a delicate, emotional process. They are milk dependent for two years and developing the right “artificial” formula took Daphne Sheldrick 28 years through trial and error. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has a Nursery in the Nairobi National Park. There they have a team of trained keepers who replace the elephant’s lost family, together with the other orphans. It can take up to 10 years until the elephant calves are ready to be brought back into a wild heard. Like humans, elephants need time to grow and develop, to be able to lead independent lives within a social structure.

We think that they are doing an amazing job and deserve our full support. Elephant populations are currently under great pressure. Poaching for ivory has become a ruthless international business with a lot of money involved. Helping the orphaned elephants who have lost their families is the least we can do. Fostering an elephant will give you the opportunity to support them and through the monthly updates, you will be able to follow their lives.

The above image is a screenshot of the Orphans Project on the website of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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How to foster an elephant

The-DSWT-LWe all know Foster Parents Plan, which lets you sponsor a child and help the community it lives in. But have you ever thought about fostering an elephant? The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust lets you do this. It was established in 1977 in honor to the memory of the famous naturalist and dedicates itself to the protection and preservation of Africa’s Wilderness, particularly endangered species such as elephants and Black Rhino. The driving force behind the trust is Daphne Sheldrick. When her husband was still a warden at Tsavo she started taking in orphaned animals. She took care of them until they were able to lead an independent life again. Bringing up elephants proved to be a challenge. It took her years to develop the right formula for the milk dependent infants. After her husband’s death Daphne moved to Nairobi National park, where she set up the famous orphanage, which we hope to visit later this year. You can foster an elephant for a minimum of 50 Dollars a year. You will receive an official certificate, get monthly updated from the keepers of your elephant and a beautiful painting of Angela Sheldrick. We think this is a great way to help the elephants in the current crisis, as a lot of the orphans brought in from all over Kenya are victims of poaching.

 

The above image is a screenshot from the Fostering Program of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

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