There has been some good news for Kenya's elephant population this week. You won't believe how much progress has been made...
The elephant is a truly majestic species.With it being the largest mammal on the Asian continent, elephants are greatly respected in cultures all around the world.
They are incredibly sociable animals.These elephants are usually spotted in groups of around 6 or 7 females, and they are known to join other groups of elephants to form a larger group.
This elephant is an important cultural symbol...And they are very much loved and respected across the continent.
But sadly, this isn't always the case.As a result of human activity, elephants are now listed as endangered, with fewer than 50,000 left in both the wild and captivity.
There are two major factors that can be credited to these devastating numbers...The first is poaching - they are relentlessly poached for their ivory tusks.
And the second is the destruction of their natural habitat.As urbanization, industrial development, and agricultural expansion increase in countries like India and Indonesia, elephants’ habitats are shrinking rapidly.
And the ones who have survived our destruction?Well, captivity is the only answer.
For example, around 15,000 Asian elephants are currently living in captivity...And it's all thanks to our impact on their habitats.
Sadly, a lot of these elephants in captivity suffer tremendously.Elephants are usually at the top of a tourist's list when visiting countries across Asia and locals have been cashing in on the exploitation of these animals for decades now.
Whether they are being forced to perform...Or used as novelty "rides" for tourists, these elephants are trained and often beaten into submission, which slowly chips away at their souls and characters.
However, not all captive environments are so cruel.There are so many national parks and organizations that provide these elephants with the environment and care that they deserve.
These elephants can roam freely for miles...All while tourists watch and observe from a safe distance.
There is some hope...The likes of anti-poaching campaigns and breeding programs have been helping replenish the population.
And it seems to have been working.In Kenya, the elephant population has more than doubled over the last 3 decades.
And it's all thanks to a successful mission to put an end to poaching.Back in 1989, there were just 16,000 elephants in the country, but by 2018 there were 34,000.
The news was announced on World Elephant Day."In the past couple of years, we have managed to tame poaching in this country,", the country's tourism minister, Najib Balala, said at the event this week.
"Today we are also launching the Magical Kenya elephant naming campaign, an annual festival whose objective will be to collect funds from the naming, to support the Rangers welfare."
This year, Kenya has only seen 7 elephants poached compared to thirty-four in 2019.And eighty in 2018.
The hard work is clearly paying off.
And it's important to keep it up, so more elephants can be saved.