11 September, 2013 — Tomorrow, the 12th September 2013, the African Wildlife Trust (AWT) completes the Walk for Elephants initiated 19 days ago in Arusha. They undertook this 650 km journey on foot to raise awareness among the people about the poaching crisis that is wiping out our elephants and destroying our wildlife and natural resources.
There have been hundreds of people who have joined along the way, all very dedicated to take a stand against this horrendous crime and fight to save their elephants.
At least thirty thousand elephants were killed for their tusks on the African continent in 2012, of which 10 000 came from Tanzania. 30 elephants are slaughtered per day in Tanzania alone.
“The ivory trade has reached new heights of depravity and destruction,” says Pratik Patel, Chief Executive Officer of the African Wildlife Trust. “The bulk of the ivory is meant for the Asian market. No part of Africa is safe.”
The annual value of illegally harvested and sold ivory and rhino horn is estimated at $8 billion. The problem however goes beyond the thousands of bloodied, lifeless carcasses of majestic African giants.
The harvest and trade of ivory and horn, like diamonds and gemstones in some parts of Africa, is increasingly linked to organised crime and terrorism, and are more and more used as an untraceable form of currency to fund their struggles. This puts us all in danger.
The Walk for Elephant’s objective is to raise awareness locally and internationally on the urgent need for proactive protection of our threatened elephants and wildlife and to educate the local communities on the importance of saving their elephants and reporting poaching activities.
This Walk is just the beginning of AWT’s mission to raise awareness all over Tanzania. There will be further small walks in various cities as part of a mass effort to educate the population village by village and city by city.
The Walk for Elephants inspired two Americans to fly to Tanzania to take part. Maraya Cornell from California has participated in the entire walk and international reporter, Leslie Griffiths, is filming a documentary.
Join Pratik and the walk participants and supporters for the final leg of their journey. They depart from the Ubungo Bus Stop at 8:30am and walk 15km’s to Kiwanja Cha Mnazi Mmojo. Their expected arrival time is 12 o’clock.
The Walk for Elephants is a call to all Tanzanians to join together to save our wildlife.
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