Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Making Tracks for Elephants" at the Bronx Zoo

And Many Thanks to All Who Supported Mr. Guy's Elephant Walk 

While we are all struggling with the realities of the great tragedy that has come to the African elephants, it was extremely gratifying to see so many people participating in the Wildlife Conservation Society's "Making Tracks for Elephants" Run and Walk at the Bronx Zoo today.

But you thought it was "Mr. Guy's Elephant Walk" didn't you? Well, a little personal note: when I made my appeal, I used that reference as a not-too-successful play on the title of an Elizabeth Taylor movie from my childhood. Well, it didn't work. No one remembers the movie ("Elephant Walk") and, besides, it took place in Ceylon or some such place, not in Africa.

So not a good gimmick for getting people to support your favorite cause, Mr. Guy.

No matter. We did very well, and while I haven't yet heard from the folks at the Wildlife Conservation Society about how much was raised by all participants (I suppose that will be in the press sometime next week), I am very grateful to Mr. Guy's friends and family. We contributed nearly $1,700.00 to this important cause, and our donations will go far in funding more research about the elephants and, particularly, in trying to figure out how we can influence African governments to take serious action against the criminals who are poaching elephants for their ivory.

How bad is the poaching? Re-read the posts I sent out with my appeal, one on March 17 and another last week. Or read this from the WCS:

"If we do not act, we will have to shamefully admit to our children that we stood by as elephants were driven out of existence.”-- WCS conservationists Samantha Strindberg & Fiona Maisels, writing in The New York Times

"Alarming reports from the Central African Republic (CAR)  indicate a new spike in elephant killings, as poachers infiltrate areas once considered safe havens. This latest crisis is occurring near the Dzanga-Sangha protected areas, a World Heritage Site.

"Across the globe, elephants are vanishing. Up to 30,000 elephants are killed in Africa each year for their ivory tusks, which are in demand in Asia. Well-funded and well-armed criminal cartels are to blame. To combat them, we're scaling up our ecoguard programs and monitoring elephants in some of their last wild strongholds, building on our hundred-plus years of wildlife conservation expertise."

So to one and all who responded to M. Guy's appeal, my since thanks. Let's keep thinking about this important work, and talking about it with our friends and neighbors.

And once again, to all of you who contributed, I very much appreciate your taking the time to respond, and for your generous and kind contributions.

We did our part, and I'm very proud of you all.

Thank you very much.

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