Tag: elephants

Nathan Edmondson is a writer and President of EDGE, an ambitious counter-poaching and conservation organization devoted to the innovative preservation of African wildlife. They bring new technologies and US special operations tactics and expertise to develop counter-poaching initiatives. Bridget and Nathan discuss media coverage of extinction events, how he became involved in the conservation movement, and why increased cancer rates in south-east Asia have led to an explosion in rhino horn poaching. He explains that there’s a ticking clock on rhino extinction, which is absurd because it’s a solvable problem, how EDGE is involving local communities on the ground, and what you can do to help. Nathan describes bringing African rangers to train in the US for the first time in history, how they were able to see their actions through the eyes of the world and experience people looking at them as heroes. He talks getting the next generation into a conservationist mindset, making animals ambassadors for their species, and tells the story of his most terrifying moment in Africa. You can support EDGE here.

Save the Whales. Release the Elephants. Kill the Eagles.


shutterstock_94987243If you’re an animal rights activist, you’ve had some high profile wins lately. In March, three years after the highly-critical documentary “Blackfish” was released, Sea World caved to PETA and similar groups, and announced it was ending killer whale shows and captivity:

SeaWorld will turn its attention to “new, inspiring, natural orca encounters” with educational programs emphasizing enrichment, exercise and health with its remaining killer whales, CEO Joel Manby said on a conference call. The orca shows will end in San Diego in 2017, while the San Antonio and Orlando parks will end the shows by 2019.

“Today marks a bold and impactful shift for our company,” Manby said. “The killer whale issue is a growing reason why many people don’t visit SeaWorld and this is about doing the best thing for our orcas, our guests, our ambassadors and our company.”

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Growing up in Nakhon Phanom, a provincial capital in Northeast Thailand, the four of us siblings liked to go out with family and join the activities of whatever special day was being observed. We loved parades with rows and rows of women performing classical dance in beautiful costumes. We were fascinated by a fair with anomalies […]

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Banning Ivory Will Not Save The Elephants


shutterstock_277259801Several years ago, my wife and I enjoyed a photo safari in Tanzania. I took nearly 1,500 photos, mostly of animals on the Serengeti, and I periodically scroll through my photo files, marveling at the grandeur of Africa. By far, the most majestic and awe inspiring animals that we encountered were the elephants. We were fortunate to get up close and personal with the herds and — on one occasion — our vehicles were challenged by a huge bull who was not amused by our presence.

These wonderful creatures are being slaughtered because they carry a valuable commodity — ivory — which has always been in great demand. At one time, there was a huge population of African elephants, so their hunting was not necessarily the evil it is today. Fortunately, elephant ivory is no longer used for consumer items such as billiard balls, piano keys, jewelry, and other utilitarian objects. It may have an incidental use for musical instruments and the like but — as with animal fur — its use is no longer commonly accepted.

Whether the number of animals illegally killed each year is in the dozens or the thousands, poaching is a despicable act. Though laws are in place to control this criminal enterprise and punish offenders, the Chinese are not convinced and account for the overwhelming majority of demand for illegal ivory. So, U.S. authorities have decided to work backwards and pick on the uninformed, easily influenced, and easily controlled Americans citizens.