iWorry for the Future of Elephants


Resson Kantai, Projects Officer

Date Published

Sir David Attenborough recently asked: ‘Are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?’

All around the world, the answer to this question was a resounding ‘No!’ A trumpet for elephants echoed across the world on the 4th of October as people took to the streets to march against ivory trade and the killing of elephants.

The International March for Elephants organized by David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust took place in 15 official citiesand 24 other locations across the globe in an effort to raise awareness about the plight of elephants. The unified campaign reached out to all walks of life from government officials to children. Many people donned the red, white and black theme t-shirts branded ‘one elephant every 15 minutes,’ a truly harrowing statistic depicting the frightening rate at which the planet is losing its largest land mammal.

In Arusha, a 10,000 strong crowd gathered to symbolically stamp out the poaching of the second largest population of elephants in Africa. Tanzania’s march was alive with scores of school children, tour operators, and graced by Minister for Environment Kagasheki and the brave anti-poaching rangers.

In New York, STE’s very own Dr. Iain Douglas Hamilton marched through Times Square, and took the stage to speak about the situation in Africa and encourage people to spread the word in order to Stop the Killing, Stop the Trafficking and Stop the Demand. He spoke in solidarity with journalist Bryan Christy, Sex and the Cityactress Kristin Davis, American model and actress Christie Brinkley, WildlifeDirect’s Paula Kahumbu and Kenya Wildlife Service Patrick Omondi who were also in attendance.

Not far from them, Kenya’s elephant hero Jim Nyamu completed his 900km walk from Boston to Washington D.C. and was joined by scores of iWorry walkers as he made his entrance into America’s capital city.

Marching in the UK, Journalist Nicky Campbell had this to say: ‘A friend asked me the other day, why not march for children? Or against war, conflict and famine? The answer is: I am.

The vast ivory trade is killing children and funding war via Al Qaeda-linked groups such as Al-Shabaab (responsible for the Nairobi WestGate attack)….the slaughter is robbing many African children of a future. Once the last elephants have disappeared so, in many countries, will a vital part of the economy. Tourists don’t much like rotting carcasses.’

Because of the Westgate attack, Nairobi, which was considered ‘Ground Zero’ for this auspicious day for elephants could not take to the streets for obvious security reasons. Instead, supporters gathered at the DSWT orphanage to watch the playful baby elephants whose mothers have paid the ultimate price for human desires. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who came to join supporters in Nairobi had this most apt closing statement to make: ‘Today, we are at crossroads for the future of wild elephants. I believe that it is necessary for the human spirit to protect our wildlife and I urge you to join us to save this ancient species because ultimately, their loss will have an impact on each and every one of us.’