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The Trumpet is Save the Elephants’ regular newsletter filled with important news and updates on our work and elephant conservation. Sign up and be a part of our community helping to conserve the largest land mammal on earth.


2024 eNewsletters

The Trumpet - June 2024

In this issue, we reveal the power of artificial intelligence in decoding elephant rumbles, reflect on the impact of STE’s work in 2023, and celebrate the return of a special elephant to Samburu National Reserve.

The Trumpet - March 2024

In this issue, we discover the transformational power of film in conservation, meet a farmer who has taken the challenge of coexistence into his own creative hands, and follow the fascinating footsteps of Naisula – a tracked female elephant whose expeditions always surprise our researchers.

2023 eNewsletters

The Trumpet - February 2023

In this issue, we reveal new research into what elephants like to eat and how they access their favorite delicacies, learn about an exciting plan to restore two wildlife areas in South Sudan to their former glory, and pay tribute to two of our beloved bull elephants tragically killed last year.

The Trumpet - May 2023

In this issue, we discover how rare footage of a forest elephant in Liberia has shed light on a unique collaboration for conservation; we unveil our latest annual report, and we give you, our Trumpet readers, an exclusive sneak peek of a wonderful short film about elephants and baboons.

The Trumpet - July 2023

In this issue, we look at how ‘hot’ testicles shed a new light on how elephants prevent cancer, unravel the intricacies of wild elephant diets and what exactly these mega herbivores eat, as we also celebrate a special team creating elephant ambassadors across the country.

The Trumpet - October 2023

In this issue, we learn about the bust of a major wildlife trafficking network, explore our efforts to foster coexistence between humans and elephants at sites across Africa, and reveal why the teeth of a very special elephant were so significant.

The Trumpet - December 2023

In this issue, we learn how the discovery of a wild African tuskless male elephant has confounded researchers in northern Kenya, celebrate a decade of elephant conservation across Africa through our Elephant Crisis Fund and pay tribute to two well-known bull elephants who recently died in Samburu.

2022 eNewsletters

The Trumpet - May 2022

In this issue, we review new science about elephant birth, head to Uganda where our founder, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, visits an old elephant stomping ground, and meet Paul Kokiro – a young Kenyan pilot patrolling the skies in northern Kenya to help protect elephants.

The Trumpet - July 2022

In this issue, we look at how the failed rains across the country are impacting both wildlife and local communities, we take a look at a behind the scenes translocation and collaring mission in Tsavo, and we discover a perfect new read for budding zoologists.

The Trumpet - September 2022

In this issue we explore some of the latest elephant research, look at how data from our home in Samburu could be acting as a warning signal for elephants across Africa, and introduce our newly launched human-elephant coexistence ‘toolbox’.

The Trumpet - November 2022

In this issue, we pay tribute to our very own David Daballen who was celebrated by Prince William as a finalist in the prestigious Tusk Awards, we meet a group of women on the frontline of conservation in Tanzania, and learn about an important partnership to secure wildlife and livestock corridors.

2021 eNewsletters

The Trumpet - March 2021

In this issue, we bid a temporary farewell to our elephant sculpted Toyota after 19 years as the centrepiece of our ‘museum’ in Samburu, we learn how STE is helping foster the next generation of elephant researchers and we explore why counting elephants from space could have its limitations.

The Trumpet - November 2021

In this issue, we witness first-hand the devastating impacts the drought in northern Kenya is having on elephants, we discover how technology is helping conservationists protect wildlife, and we look at the fall of a notorious wildlife trafficker.

2020 eNewsletters

The Trumpet - March 2020

In this issue, we bid farewell to Tim – one of Kenya’s last big tuskers, highlight how a rare elephant sighting in Senegal has given fresh hope to conservationists, and reveal how research has shed light into how elephants interact with their dead.

The Trumpet - July 2020

In this issue, we meet Miguna Miguna and discover how his collar will help protect the next generation of bull elephants, we learn more about the challenges facing some of our elephant scholars trying to study remotely in Northern Kenya during Covid and reveal how space technology could be a game changer in elephant tracking.

2019 eNewsletters

The Monthly Trumpet - February 2019

In this issue,  we find out how an undercover investigation led  to a major ivory bust by Chinese authorities, we discover   a new design that is  safeguarding beehive fences from the feisty honey badger, and we meet a courageous Elephant Scholar who, with the help of STE, is navigating turbulent economic times to secure an education in Kenya’s northern landscape.

The Monthly Trumpet - April 2019

In this issue, we meet the latest ambassador for elephants – Chinese film star, Liu Horan,  celebrate conservation heroines working to foster human-elephant coexistence across Kenya and bring you updates on the ivory trade in Asia.

The Monthly Trumpet - June 2019

In this issue, we mark 25 years at the forefront of elephant research and conservation, share an update on three, young, orphaned elephants recently rewilded from Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, and follow a wild elephant’s  extraordinary 100km journey.

The Trumpet - October 2019

In this issue, read about the transformative journey of our youngest Elephant Scholar, learn more about  the role of Africa’s forest elephants in fighting climate change, and get up close and personal with our Head of Field Operations, David Daballen –  who was recently profiled as one of four ‘magical Kenyans’ changing perceptions of Kenya.

2018 eNewsletters

The Monthly Trumpet - February 2018

Two weeks ago, we lost a great defender of wildlife when ivory investigator Esmond Bradley Martin was killed in his Nairobi home. A towering yet humble figure in conservation, Esmond was an important ally of STE, having worked with us for nearly 18 years, researching the legal and illegal wildlife trade across the globe.

The Monthly Trumpet - March 2018

For 25 years, STE has conducted pivotal research on elephant behaviour and gained valuable insights into their lives. In this issue, we turn our focus to the elephants of Samburu – one of Africa’s best studied populations – where our team has observed intriguing behaviours from certain individuals.

The Monthly Trumpet - May 2018

The big infrastructure projects that are being developed now in Kenya will in many ways be the foundations of our future. In the latest round of development plans, a six lane highway from Mombasa to Nairobi, cutting through the country’s biggest elephant population. But who’s looking out for the wildlife?

The Monthly Trumpet - July 2018

A new study by Oxford University conducted with Save The Elephants in Kenya has revealed that elephant behaviours can be determined by the vibrations they create. Researchers using small sensors called ‘geo-phones’ measured the ground-based vibrations generated by elephants in Samburu National Reserve.

The Monthly Trumpet - October 2018

The London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade was an important landmark in the fight against wildlife crime and the destruction that it causes, particularly to elephants. At the conference, Save the Elephants and our Elephant Crisis Fund team met with dignitaries, world leaders and conservation partners to talk about the fight against wildlife crime and its significance.

2017 eNewsletters

The Monthly Trumpet - February 2017

As China’s legal ivory trade draws to a close in 2017, pressure is increasing on other markets to follow suit. Vietnam (whose rampant illegal trade we exposed last year) has pledged a clamp down, the European Union looks set to ban ivory exports from July, and the UK government continues to edge towards a stronger commitment.

The Monthly Trumpet - June 2017

We sadly lost one of our most beloved and well known wild elephants, a gentle and intelligent matriarch called Generosity (35) in May. Generosity, leader of one of the Virtues sub-families and a mother to a four year old calf, was found in Samburu National Reserve struggling to breath and unable to get up.

The Monthly Trumpet - July 2017

Wildlife must move to survive and in an increasingly crowded Kenya, corridors will be critical. Save The Elephants has collaborated with other wildlife partners and the Ministry of Environment on an ambitious report identifying Kenya’s most important wildlife corridors. Using satellite tracking, STE identified and mapped essential corridors and dispersal areas in northern Kenya, Tsavo and in the Mara.

The Monthly Trumpet - October 2017

Laos is now the fastest-growing ivory market in the world, according to a new report published by Save the Elephants. The alarming finding was released at a press conference in Nairobi, showing that the retail ivory market in Laos has increased more rapidly than in any other country surveyed in the last three years (2013 – 2016).

The Monthly Trumpet - November 2017

Mali’s desert elephants are some of the most endangered in the world due to poaching and climate change. Their survival in savage conditions continue to be a big concern. Our satellite tracking has already shown that Mali’s elephants trek further in search of food and water than any other elephants on record.

2016 eNewsletters

The Monthly Trumpet - February 2016

On 11th February, Save the Elephants joined conservation Organisations in welcoming the new Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Director Mr. Kitili Mbathi. Kicking off the event with inspiring words was KWS Board of Trustees chairman Dr. Richard Leakey who introduced Mr. Mbathi. Dr. Leakey expressed his confidence in Mr. Mbathi whom he described as passionate, committed and the right man for the job at this crucial time for KWS.

The Monthly Trumpet - March 2016

Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project, a new high-speed rail link between Nairobi and Mombasa, is well underway. Modern transport links to the coast are critical for the nation’s development, but they also threaten to sever the Tsavo ecosystem (home to Kenya’s biggest elephant population) into two.

The Monthly Trumpet - May 2016

The elephant poaching crisis made headlines around the world this month with the world’s largest ivory destruction. 106 tonnes – the tusks of over 8,000 elephants – were sent up in smoke in Nairobi, Kenya. The signal was clear: trade in ivory means the end of elephants.

The Monthly Trumpet - June 2016

The US Government announced last month a near-total ban on trade in ivory, capping a process begun in May 2015 with joint pledges by Presidents Obama and Xi Jinping. Five US states have also banned ivory trade. China has yet to announce a timeline for their ban, but Hong Kong (where STE has been working with WildAid & WWF) committed to a ban within five years.

The Monthly Trumpet - July 2016

The most serious ivory trafficker yet to be caught in Kenya has been sentenced to 20 years in jail and fined 200,000 dollars. Feisal Ali Mohammed was arrested by Interpol in December 2014 and ever since Elephant Crisis Fund grantee WildlifeDirect have been pushing to ensure justice is served.

The Monthly Trumpet - August 2016

The Great Elephant Census results have been released, with sobering results. The largest ever survey of African wildlife, funded by Paul G Allen, has shed light on the continent-wide crisis. The survey reports that the savanna populations declined 30% between 2007 and 2014. The greatest falls were in Tanzania and Mozambique, which together lost an estimated 73,000 elephants to poaching in just five years.

The Monthly Trumpet - September 2016

The first comprehensive review of Africa’s elephant population in 9 years estimates that there are about 100,000 fewer elephants on the continent than there were in 2007. The new 2016 IUCN African Elephants Status Report compiles aerial counts and dung surveys that suggest that 415,000 elephants survive in the forests and savannahs, with the possibility of up to 135,000 more in areas that have yet to be systematically surveyed.

The Monthly Trumpet - October 2016

Save The Elephants was proud to be the lead charity at the 2016 Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) Charity Trading Day this month. In line with other securities exchanges around the world, for one day a year the NSE gives all sales proceeds to charity. Kenyan media celebrities joined STE staff and traders to make calls to potential buyers.

The Monthly Trumpet - December 2016

Last month Rozz, a young female elephant from the Poetics family, was shot dead near Shaba National Reserve in northern Kenya. Rangers recovered the tusks, but have yet to find the culprits. Rozz left two daughters, one of whom was too young to survive in the wild.

2015 eNewsletters

The Monthly Trumpet - January 2015

Suspected ivory trafficking ringleader Feisal Mohammed Ali was denied bail in Mombasa, Kenya, this month in the ongoing drama of his prosecution. The suspect had run from police and fled Kenya but then appeared on an Interpol list of the nine most wanted suspects linked to crimes against the environment.

The Monthly Trumpet - February 2015

With no sign of demand for ivory in China slackening, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has inspired a dozen Chinese opinion leaders to lead a campaign to stigmatise ivory consumption. The work – suppported by the Elephant Crisis Fund – leverages support from a host of Chinese corporations and media agencies to spread the message wide.

The Monthly Trumpet - March 2015

The elephants of Garamba in the northern reaches of the Democratic Republic of Congo are once again in the headlines. In 2012 press coverage of elephants being massacred from military helicopters propelled the poaching issue up the political agenda. Now the rebel militias – including the Lords Resistance Army – and out-of-control government forces are back in force, killing dozens of elephants in the last few weeks alone.

The Monthly Trumpet - April 2015

President Clinton & Chelsea visited the Save the Elephants Research Camp on Sunday May 3rd to hear a briefing about how technology, community and collaboration can help bring an end to the ongoing ivory poaching crisis (as in this film). Chelsea officially opened our new Visitor’s Centre, and with her father went into the field to be introduced to the elephants of Samburu.

The Monthly Trumpet - May 2015

The best news for elephants in a decade: the Chinese government has pledged to shut down the ivory trade within its borders. Once implemented, this will end the single largest driver of the poaching killing of Africa’s elephants. China’s announcement came during a ceremony to destroy more seized ivory, and signals what we hope will be the critical tipping point in the ivory crisis.

The Monthly Trumpet - July 2015

The elephants of Congo’s Virunga National Park have suffered from the conflict that has plagued the area. Of the 8,000 present in 1980, only around 400 remain. At the request of park director Emmanuel de Merode, STE launched a mission to help his team secure a future for these elephants. A crack team overcame tough conditions to collar 15 individuals.

The Monthly Trumpet - August 2015

The rollercoaster courtroom drama of Kenyan ivory kingpin Feisal Ali Mohammed continues. Following his arrest in late 2014 for smuggling 2 tonnes of ivory, last month he was once again granted bail. Amid widespread outrage prosecutors appealed successfully and he remains in jail. Save the Elephants & the Elephant Crisis Fund are supporting Wildlife Direct to keep the pressure on this critical test of Kenya’s ability to prosecute traffickers.

The Monthly Trumpet - October 2015

The world’s two most powerful nations came one step closer to banning the trade in ivory within their borders last month. Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama issued a joint statement from New York committing to enact nearly complete bans on ivory import and export. The announcement builds on earlier comments from China’s State Forestry Administration and suggests that the Chinese government intends to take strong and timely action on ivory.

The Monthly Trumpet - November 2015

When we first visited the elephants of Mali in the mid-1970s they enjoyed the tolerance of the local population. In 2012 jihadist conflict struck. The elephants were protected by the Mali Elephant Project for nearly 3 years, but trafficking networks have thrived on the insecurity. 57 elephants were killed in the first half of the year, 14-20% of the population.

The Monthly Trumpet - December 2015

The life lessons passed on by mother elephants to their daughters go far beyond where to find food and water, new research by STE scientists in Samburu, northern Kenya, has revealed. By introducing their young to their friends and more distant family, mothers allow the next generation to inherit their social network. The result? Despite the loss of around a quarter of all the adults in Samburu the network of social connections has remained surprisingly stable.

2014 eNewsletters

The Monthly Trumpet - January 2014

Tanzania revealed the shocking results of an aerial census in the Selous Game Reserve last month. Once host to Africa’s second largest elephant population, estimated elephant numbers have plummeted by 88% in just four decades. Close to 110,000 elephants were counted by Iain Douglas-Hamilton in 1976. Now, only around 13,000 remain.

The Monthly Trumpet - February 2014

A quarter of a century ago a meeting in London sparked a transformation in the fate of elephants after an ivory poaching crisis that had halved the number of elephants in Africa. Last month a new gathering in the same city echoed that remarkable event as 46 nations, including China and Vietnam, signed up to the London Declaration to condemn the illegal trade and move to end it.

The Monthly Trumpet - March 2014

The pattern is all too familiar. A burst of gunshots at dusk and a scramble into action by anti-poaching forces to reach the site, on the border of Buffalo Springs National Reserve in Northern Kenya. This time the network was fast and KWS and community rangers reached the elephant before the poachers could take his blood-stained ivory.

The Monthly Trumpet - April 2014

In Samburu rains have fallen in the poaching badlands to the south of the Reserves but left the north dry. The elephants know the risk but still follow the food. As we follow them on the ground and via our Google Earth tracking system we keep our anti-poaching partners primed and ready to respond.

The Monthly Trumpet - May 2014

Hollywood stars, billionaire producers and a pod of California Grey Whales all made appearances at the Sundown Gala in Malibu on 10th May, an event to raise money for the STE/WCN Elephant Crisis Fund. By the end of the evening a stunning $2.1 million had been raised to combat poaching, thwart trafficking and reduce demand for ivory.

The Monthly Trumpet - June 2014

Ten days before the news hit the headlines, Richard Moller of the Tsavo Trust was already fearing the worst. He’d spotted the carcass of a large bull, face hacked off and ivory gone. Satao, one of the biggest bulls remaining in one of the last strongholds of Great Tuskers in Africa, was missing. Only when long days of searching from his (Elephant Crisis Fund sponsored) aircraft found nothing did he finally admit the loss to himself and the world.

The Monthly Trumpet - July 2014

Save the Elephants’ beehive fencing keeps elephants out of crops while giving farmers honey to sell or eat. Developed by Dr Lucy King, the fences have been wildly popular wherever they have been deployed in Africa. When elephant organisations in Asia heard the buzz they asked if it might work for them too, despite the fact that their bees lack the notorious aggression of Africa’s.

The Monthly Trumpet - August 2014

100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012, according to new research conducted by the head of Save the Elephants’ Scientific Board and collaborators. Intensive monitoring of the elephants of Samburu – one of the best-studied elephant populations in the world – helped translate continental information on rates of illegal killing into actual numbers.

The Monthly Trumpet - September 2014

As world leaders and prominent environmental figureheads gathered in New York for September’s UN Climate Summit, many made time for another global issue: the ivory trade and elephant survival. The Clinton Global Initiative hosted a meeting at which Gabon’s President Bongo announced that the African-led Elephant Protection Initiative had now joined with the CGI, representing a significant new coming-together in the global coalition that we believe is so important for elephants (watch the official film coverage here).

The Monthly Trumpet - October 2014

This year, for the first time since the ongoing ivory crisis hit East Africa in 2008, elephant births are exceeding deaths in Samburu, northern Kenya. Our intensive monitoring of the population that uses the Samburu National Reserve has revealed this rare good news in a continental context that is mostly bleak.

The Monthly Trumpet - November 2014

As any American who is spending Thanksgiving outside of the US knows, it’s important make family even where you don’t have one. The elephants of Samburu, where the ivory poaching crisis has left one in five families without a mature female to lead them, have also learnt this lesson.

The Monthly Trumpet - December 2014

This special edition of the Monthly Trumpet highlights news from projects supported by our Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF). Times are tough for elephants, but it is important to know that effective action is being taken. First up is a report from the front line of the battle for the forest elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the TL2 landscape, the Lukuru Foundation have forged an effective collaboration with the Congolese Special Forces to purge poachers from the north and have begun securing space for future elephant population recovery to the south.

2013 eNewsletters

The Monthly Trumpet - January 2013

Tanzania revealed the shocking results of an aerial census in the Selous Game Reserve last month. Once host to Africa’s second largest elephant population, estimated elephant numbers have plummeted by 88% in just four decades. Close to 110,000 elephants were counted by Iain Douglas-Hamilton in 1976. Now, only around 13,000 remain. The first step towards addressing such devastation is a credible census to establish the true scale of the problem. Tanzania can now decide how best to focus international support.

The Monthly Trumpet - February 2013

The new year started with tragedy when one of the bulls monitored by Save the Elephants (STE), Changila, was gunned down just outside Samburu National Reserve. At the end of the month Philo, a quiet and trusting young male, was shot inside Buffalo Springs Reserve, bringing the tally in our region to around 30 in the past two months. The current crisis extends across Kenya and East Africa. Central Africa’s elephants are in even more danger. We believe the final solution lies in a concerted effort by individuals, governments, and NGOs to reduce demand for ivory.

The Monthly Trumpet - March 2013

The fate of Africa’s elephants has dominated the opening of the 16th Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok. Thai Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, caused headlines with her opening pledge to end her nation’s domestic trade. The move came amid intense media and diplomatic pressure and was widely welcomed. Meanwhile STE’s crack team has begun working the corridors of power. Their mission is to create a consensus around the need to reduce global demand for ivory and to vault any obstacles that may be preventing this from forming.

The Monthly Trumpet - April 2013

Elephants once more topped the agenda at the 16th meeting of world nations at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The UN meeting, once notorious among conservationists for its perceived pro-trade leanings, displayed a different face this year in Bangkok. Chairmen mediated effectively and brought about a wide range of successes for wildlife. The current ban on international trade in ivory was not contested and no more ‘one-off sales’ approved, and important progress was made in establishing a consensus on how to secure a future for elephants by reducing demand for ivory.

The Monthly Trumpet - May 2013

Li Bingbing, China’s leading actress, has just come to meet Samburu’s elephants as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador. STE introduced her to wild elephants and showed her the impacts of poaching in an emotional two-day visit. The story is already making waves in China. This is only the latest of our efforts to reach out to China to appreciate the devastating effects of buying ivory. In mid-April the director of Xinhua, China’s state media agency, came to visit Samburu with five of his journalists to cover issues in print, TV and radio and David Daballen joined Yao Ming on stage in Shanghai for the launch of Yao’s Ivory Campaign with WildAid.

The Monthly Trumpet - July 2013

On 1st July President Obama launched a major new initiative on Wildlife Trafficking. The elephant issue has now reached the highest level of policy making. In June, STE Founder and CEO, Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, had spent several days meeting senior officials in Washington and briefing the Deputy Chief of Staff in the White House. Together with increasing political will and momentum at a local level in Kenya there are grounds for optimism. The coalition of concerned individuals, scientists, NGOs and governments is growing ever more powerful in its push to resolve the on-going ivory crisis.

The Monthly Trumpet - August 2013

The political momentum on the elephant crisis continued this month as our CEO Iain Douglas-Hamilton was called back to New York by the Wildlife Conservation Society to meet with Secretary Hillary Clinton and 12 leading conservation organisations. The meeting aimed to unite leading US NGOs as a first step before reaching out to wider African representation. All agreed to work together to stop the killing, stop the trade, stop the demand for ivory. The Clinton Global Initiative have committed to helping achieve these aims. Following President Obama’s Executive Order this is another significant US commitment to help elephants.

The Monthly Trumpet - September 2013

Until recently the elephant population of the Selous National Reserve in Tanzania was known to be the second largest in Africa. What the status is now, no-one knows. For years there have been hair-raising stories of ivory poaching and horrifying estimates of the losses, but with no consistent counts conducted since the poaching surge began there is no way to quantify the damage. Governments and international treaties need hard data, so it was a significant step forward when the Tanzanian Government convened a meeting between the Tanzanian Wildlife Department, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and other experts, including STE. The 10-day count is currently scheduled for the end of September.

The Monthly Trumpet - October 2013

September saw the launch of an unprecedented alliance to save elephants. The biggest players in elephant conservation have come together under the Clinton Global Initiative to implement a powerful set of programmes to stop poaching, thwart trafficking and end demand for ivory. Save the Elephants is proud to be a partner in all three areas. At the launch in New York, Secretary Clinton voiced concern that alongside the elephants being lost, terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab, with its horrific attack on the mall in Nairobi, are funding their terrorist activities from ivory trafficking. This is a problem for people, not just elephants, she said.

The Monthly Trumpet - November 2013

There’s no sign of relief for the elephants that roam Africa’s wild places. But while the killing for ivory appears unabated, the political momentum is building. A global coalition is coming together as individuals, scientists, NGOs and governments unite behind the need to save elephants. The importance of these alliances is hard to overstate. The consensus convened through the work of figureheads such as Prince William, Prince Harry and Hillary Clinton is a powerful driver of political will. Now is the time to translate this into actions that will change the fate of Africa’s elephants.

The Monthly Trumpet - December 2013

One of the largest tuskers ever to be tracked in Africa has died in the Kruger National Park. STE South Africa had followed Mac since 2002, making him the elephant we have followed for longest. Although South Africa is braced for an onslaught of ivory poaching, Mac died naturally. He was estimated to be approaching 60 years old, and investigation of his carcass revealed an abscess in one of his molars. His teeth on the other side were worn smooth. He’d just been through his annual Musth, and the team thinks it likely that he was unable to grind enough dry season browse to restore his body weight.