African elephants

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1998:

Three years after “sustainable use” advocate
David Western replaced Richard Leakey as
head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, the service is
plagued by resignations, short funding, and poor
morale, Louise Tunbridge of the London Daily
Telegraph reported in early December––and elephants
in Tsavo National Park are under fire, while
Western’s own salary has tripled in two years.
“Glossy KWS brochures state that only 11 elephants
were killed by ivory poachers last year,” Tunbridge
wrote, “but security sources say the true figure is at
least 67.” At urging of elephant expert Daphne
Sheldrick, Tunbridge continued, the David
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust “paid for a tanker of petrol
to keep the Kenya Wildlife Service anti-poaching
teams going” until the new year, and “the British
charity Care for the Wild is paying to patch up the
park’s roads, which are in very poor repair.”

“Slaughters for illegal ivory could signal
the end for elephants in parts of Africa and Asia,”
warns David Barritt, African director for the International
Fund for Animal Welfare. In June 1997
the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species eased the world ban on ivory exports in
effect since 1989, at request of Z i m b a b w e ,
Botswana, and Namibia. Since then, Barritt says,
IFAW has seen increased poaching in five African
nations. IFAW is funding the expansion of protected
elephant habitat in South Africa.
“Thank you for your continuing support
for our efforts to end the inhumane and fiscally irresponsible
funding of the C A M P F I R E program in
Zimbabwe,” Representative Jon D. Fox ( R – P a . )
wrote to ANIMAL PEOPLE on November 18.
Receiving $29 million from USAid since 1989,
CAMPFIRE derives 90% of its earned income from
elephant hunting. “As you know, the Fox/Miller
Amendment to the House Foreign Operations
Appropriations Act [to ax support of CAMPFIRE] failed,” and a conference committee reconciled the
House bill with the Senate version by dropping Senate
language that also would have cut CAMPFIRE.
“However,” Fox added, “USAid indicated to
Senator Barbara Boxer [D-Calif.] that while they
opposed even the Senate version which contained limited
protection for the African elepant, they will
include those provisions in forthcoming administrative
changes. I urge you to contact USAid to let them
know that you will be watching. Write to J i l l
B u c k l e y, Assistant Administrator, Legislative &
Public Affairs, USAid, 320 21st St. NW, Washington,
DC 20523-0001. Also,” Fox added “we need to
keep the heat on Congress. We have one year to convince
a majority of Congress of the folly of CAMPFIRE
as it is currently designed.”

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