Conservation & environment

Changing attitudes with baby elephants.

14 December 2017

Not long ago, a baby elephant was attacked
with a spear by local villagers in West
Kilimanjaro. In fright from the attack, the
elephant calf fled, losing her herd and mother.
Luckily the elephant's cries were picked up by
another female elephant in the area who called
to her and drew her to safety. The calf is now
being looked after by some rangers, and has
been put on a feeding program, had her wound
seen to by local vets, and is on track to make a
full recovery.
Sadly this type of attack happens often in
villages that share land with the surrounding
wildlife. Communities act on fear instead of
understanding for these great creatures and it is not usually a happy ending for the wildlife.
Reversing this culture of conflict and the mindset of people who are protecting their livelihoods, as well as those who kill wildlife for a living, is no easy task.

In an effort to address this problem, Nomad Trust joined forces with local game wardens, a couple of vets, and Tanzanian wildlife officials to organise a school trip for children from the village. Identified as being leaders in their school, primary aged children from different classes had the chance to go on a conservation themed school trip to see the baby elephant and learn more about wild animals and how people can live alongside them in peace.

‘Ndarakwai’ as the calf has been named, was a perfect example for the students to see first-hand the after effects of the wildlife retaliation and attacks going on in their village. Spending the day learning just how like humans elephants actually are, everyone came away with a whole new appreciation for elephants and big beaming smiles. Watch out these primary school students have taken their role as elephant ambassadors very seriously.

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