If you’ve been following our blogs and recent news, you’ve probably heard about the horrific elephant poisonings that occurred in Zimbabwe early last month. When I first wrote about this tragic situation, I reported on the immediate elephant deaths—41 of Hwange National Park’s majestic giants—which was already a horrifically high number.
Two contrasting scenes stand out in my mind when I remember my past as a young boy herding my father’s cattle in the former wildlands of Domboshava, Zimbabwe. Mountains covered with forest full of diverse, juicy wild fruits—this was the common scenery in my early days as a herd boy, unforgettable, and one I cherished and so dearly loved. I remember the scenery changing, my beloved forests and flowing rivers were slowly replaced by bare mountains, lethargic rivers and leafless remnants of bushy trees still standing.
I’m just recently back in Lomie (on border of the Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon) from two days of practical training for rangers on the use of the CyberTracker/Trimble for ecological monitoring and anti-poaching.
I grew up in subtropical Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and, for all of my childhood and formative years, lived in close proximity to the relatively small but spectacular Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. For a peri-urban reserve, it has impressive biodiversity, being positioned within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot.
This month, Asian Geographic published an 8-page cover story of my ‘Schools United for Elephants’ Campaign, spreading the anti-ivory trade idea in 24 places including, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, USA etc.