Organization of The Day: Save The Elephants
SAVE THE ELEPHANTS
After witnessing the complete devastation of African elephants in the 70’s an 80’s, a period which saw the demise of half of Africa’s elephant population due to poaching, Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton alerted the world of an “ivory poaching holocaust”. His revolutionary research into the status and behavior of the African elephant gave him the insight needed to establish an organization that would fight for the future of these animals. Founded in 1993, Save the Elephants (STE) is a non-governmental organization focused on saving the vastly-impacted African elephant population and its environment, while also striving to bridge a dynamic relationship between humans and elephants. Their strategy is centered on four pillars critical to guarding the future of the elephants: research, protection, grassroots efforts, and education. STE’s innovative research on elephant behavior and ecology allows them to develop conservation efforts that are cognizant of the elephants’ point of view.
The organization teams with local wildlife departments to fight poaching by using aerial surveillance and radio tracking to protect these amazing animals. STE strengthens their efforts by working directly with the local people living amongst the elephants and encouraging them to participate and engage in the organization’s research and education initiatives.
The organization serves as a prime example of the power behind developing a conservation ethic that incorporates local knowledge and helps to create a two-way ambassadorship between the local people and the elephants. STE also uses education to increase global awareness about the state of the African elephant and the intricate and intelligent design of these animals. Most recently, Save the Elephants has been a major player in the opposition against banning the illegal ivory trade, believed to be the greatest potential threat to elephants, at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)