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Kwita Izina celebrates hope for Rwanda’s mountain gorillas and people

Photo of baby mountain gorilla with mother in forested habitat in the Virunga mountains

With fewer than 300 mountain gorillas remaining in the 1980s, the birth of a baby was a huge victory for the rangers and conservation experts dedicated to protecting this critically endangered great ape in its natural habitat. They bestowed the newborn mountain gorilla with a name inspired by the circumstances of the birth, mirroring an age-old naming tradition embedded in Rwanda’s cultural tapestry.

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Convicting traffickers to end wildlife crime

Photo of AWF-trained sniffer dog demonstrating how smuggled illegal wildlife products are detected

In 2017 and early 2018, African Wildlife Foundation’s canine units made over 100 busts, uncovering raw and worked ivory, pangolin scales and skins, lion bones, sable antelope horns, rhino horns, hippo teeth, and more. In August 2017 our dogs alerted their handlers to a huge stash — 50 pounds of rhino horn in a smuggler’s bag at the Entebbe International Airport. The Vietnamese smuggler was arrested, prosecuted and eventually fined and deported from Uganda.

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Elephants are the pillars of Africa’s ecosystems and they need our support

Photo of a small herd of African elephants in open savanna grassland landscape in East Africa

As the largest of all land mammals, African elephants play an important role in balancing natural ecosystems. They trample forests and dense grasslands, making room for smaller species to co-exist. Elephants also create water holes used by other wildlife as they dig dry riverbeds when rainfall is low. Herds travel over vast rangelands, and they disperse seeds in their dung, which helps generate new green growth.

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Women are the future of African conservation

Photo of two women from rural Tanzania invovled in AWF conservation project



Gender inclusivity is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s professional world and changing the dialogue around the role of women in the workforce. On the African continent — whether it is through farming, agriculture, politics, economics, or conservation — new programs geared towards empowering women are surfacing.

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Japan’s legal ivory markets are fueling the international ivory trade

Photo of illegal elephant tusk stockpile before ivory burn event in Kenya

The shutdown of ivory sales on Rakuten-Ichiba, one of Japan’s largest e-commerce platforms, in August 2017 blazed a trail for other online shopping sites selling and auctioning ivory. Some mall retailers even revised their policies to close shops trading ivory, but few online shopping sites have taken the same path as Rakuten — most notably Yahoo! Japan.

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