“Why is it that poachers kill elephants for their ivory? Can’t they just tranquilize the elephant, cut off the tusks, and let them live? They grow back, right?” -Murphy, New York Mills, NY, U.S.A. I have been asked this question a few times over the years. It’s an ugly question with an even uglier answer. Fact: An elephant’s tusks are actually its teeth, specifically, its upper incisors. Tusks are really only dentine and their composition is no different from ordinary teeth.
“Does AWF offer safaris to Africa to AWF members?”
-Sean, New York, IA, U.S.A.
Did you know that ‘safari’ is Kiswahili for ‘journey?’ Well, we absolutely have ‘journeys’ available to Africa for our members.
We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and very warm wishes for 2010. We apologise for slowing down in blog updates, but hopefully this year we will pick up the slack and you guys can see how we are doing regarding meeting our project goals. It is our hope that this year we will accomplish a lot and thank you all for your continued support.
Erin, once and for all-Zebras: are they black with white stripes or white with black stripes?
--Jarrett, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.
Wobbling down what seems like an endless descent from the lofty perches of Nkuringo Ridge, the village of Kahurire in the patchwork of green hollows below looks tiny no matter how close we get to it, like a scattering of child’s playhouses neatly arranged in neighbor friendly concentric circles. The ragged leaves of the banana trees and deep red earth of Kahurire’s paths snake through the valley like bursting capillaries, the lifeblood of this patch of farmland on the forest’s edge.
Just as we pass Kahurire and its early morning chorus of chattering children, our guide Herbert comes to a com