If you are ready, here is the link to sign the petition to the President of Tanzania.

To jump ahead -
go here for the "LINKS" section
go here to the "What can I do?" section

I released some videos right after learning about these tragic events.   I was very emotional and I'll put links to the videos in the link section.    This blog post is documentary style - emotionless, if you will, to just lay out the facts and be a resource for you to find the different articles, videos and posts about the situation.

I am devastated by what is going on here.  I don't understand how anyone can justify these killings.  I've had the privilege of being in the presence of 4 super tuskers and dozens of almost super-tuskers and it's breathtaking.   I sit in awe wondering what their lives were like, what they've seen and experienced, how they can manage to walk with over 200 pounds of tusks on their faces.   

It boggles my mind to know that not too long ago, many elephants had big tusks and that was the norm...but the elephants with the biggest tusks were the ones targeted by poachers and trophy hunters so that someone could have their ivory for a trinket on their mantle, an ivory inlaid on their gun, or white keys on their pianos.  And now, mostly elephants with smaller tusks and no tusks have survived to pass their genes down to future generations.

It is tragic - no that's not strong enough of a word - to know that our grandchildren will probably never get a chance to see an elephant as he is meant to be, with large beautiful tusks roaming free.

I've had the privilege of sitting in the middle of huge herds of elephants - "regular" elephants and watched them just living life as they are meant to.   It's an experience I wish for everyone.   I've sat with small herds and individual elephants, and the experience is no less special.

As much as it pains me, I do understand that the hunting issue is complicated in areas where there are too many elephants and not enough land / food sources and that is a topic for another day.    

In this area of Kenya /Tanzania, this is not the case.   The area can support the elephants and the fact that there are so few super tuskers left, there can be no argument in favor of killing them.    

My heart aches for the elephants killed, for their offspring that will never be, for the loss of these magnificent beings from our world.  

My heart aches.


January 11, 2024 

Africa Geographic released a very disturbing article that shared the details of 2 super-tusker elephants that were hunted in Northern Tanzania, just south of the Amboseli National Park of Kenya.    

Hunting is legal in parts of Tanzania but there was a "cease-fire" on elephants in this area because of the importance of these elephants to the world.

A super tusker is an elephant that has tusks that weight over 100 pounds each.   There are between 50-100 super tuskers left in the world with the majority of them in Kenya - the Amboseli region and Tsavo National Park.


The cease-fire was in place for 30 years until it wasn't.    No notice, no reasons, just a dead elephant in September 2023.   A super-tusker. And just like that, the cease-fire was over.

Then, in November of 2023, a second elephant was killed.

The hunts were carried out by 2 different hunting companies and "interestingly" both companies burned the bodies of the elephants.   This is NOT a common practice.

Since the bodies were burned, they did not have an ID on the elephants (at first...more info on that later).

The Africa Geographic article is very well written with all the details about these 2 hunts, why this is tragic, how this is not conservation and the questionable ethics of one hunt that appears to have been using a helicopter to herd the elephant out of the protected area.   I encourage you to take the 3-5 minutes to read it here.   

To read the articles from Africa Geographic, you will need to register.   Registration is free.   


January 13, 2024

Big Life Foundation released a short response to the Africa Geographic article offering support for the moratorium to be re-instated.   Big Life is an NGO (non-profit) that works to ensure wildlife corridors, helps reduce human-wildlife conflict, helps locals with wildlife and does so much more.   

To jump ahead -
go here for the "LINKS" section
go here to the "What can I do?" section

February 27, 2024

Africa Geographic writes an open letter to the Chairman of the Tanzanian Hunting Operators Association (TAHOA).   In this letter, the CEO of Africa Geographic responds to outrageous statements made by the Chairman of TAHOA.   The article is really great in addressing hunting as a whole in Tanzania and the horrible effects it has had on some of the land as well as addressing the issue of the Super Tusker hunts.

March 6, 2024

The Times (UK) releases an article about the hunting (you have to be a subscriber to read it.

March 7, 2024

Seej Africa releases a report (with a great map) about the hunt and the cease fire that has been broken.    Although the last paragraph seems to be in error as it is talking about India.

March 12, 2024

Africa Geographic released a second article.   Another upsetting article detailing the killing of a third elephant.   Again, the body was burned.

In this article, they show a portion of a letter written to hunters advising them to not advertise their hunting of super tuskers because of the outrage it will cause (rightfully so) and the impact it may have on elephant hunting in general.    This article is very detailed and shows evidence from collared elephants of the Amboseli tuskers moving into this section of Tanzania where they are being hunted.    

Big Life Foundation releases an article and video about Esau (a 34 year old super-tusker) getting collared for protection.   According to the article, it is illegal to hunt animals that are collared.    I'm praying it works better for Esau than it did for Cecil.  

The South African releases an article about the super tuskers being killed.    The article summarizes the above with some great information about conservation and why this hunting goes against everything conservation.   It continues by stating: 

"Elephants are listed under Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species, to which both Kenya and Tanzania are parties. The listing encourages collaboration between countries to achieve conservation and management targets for listed species. Since 1995 a moratorium on trophy hunting of this cross-border elephant population between Kenya and Tanzania was agreed between the nations. After nearly 30 years, this moratorium was shattered when two โ€œsuper tuskersโ€ were killed south of the border in Tanzania, prior to this third killing.March 14, 2024"

The second article from Africa Geographic was updated to release the identity of the first male that was killed.   GilGil.   He was a 35 year old super tusker just entering his prime reproductive years.   And just like that, with one shot (hopefully one shot and he died quickly and painlessly), his DNA will never be spread to future generations.    

Humane Society International / Africa releases its article about the killing of 3 super tuskers killed.

Here is the link to the article about identifying GilGil written by the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.  Please note, the picture in the article is old and Big Life foundation released a more recent picture of him showing his super tusks.    He was identified by the Amboseli Trust for Elephants.   This non-profit (or NGO) has been studying the elephant population in this area since 1968 and all the super tuskers are known to them as well as their family lineage.  

A Joint Statement from the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Big Life, and Elephant Voices talks about the 30 year moratorium and the importance of this cease-fire.    Another great article for you to read to get all the information and facts to make your own decisions about signing the petition.   

The Star releases an article looking for renewed commitment from Tanzania to protect the jumbos.

According to these articles, 3 more licenses have been granted by the Tanzanian government to kill elephants in this area.   In fact, there is one hunt happening right now as I write this post.... so in a few days I'm sure we will get the news another one is dead...and that leaves 2 outstanding permits and who knows how many more they will grant.

According to Amboseli Trust for Elephants, there are only 10 super tuskers alive in this region.   TEN.   If 3 more or killed, that leaves 7.    Only 7 males to spread their genes.  

To date, 30% of the super tuskers in the Amboseli/Kilimanjaro eco-systems are confirmed dead.   If the rest of the permits are used, 60% will have been killed in a matter of months. 

This is an urgent matter.    In order to save these elephants, we must act - NOW.


To jump ahead -
go here for the "LINKS" section
go here to the "What can I do?" section

March 28, 2024

Africa Geographic updates the second article to show pictures of GilGil's dead body and his tusks.

Elephant Voices releases the information through an Instagram post that a 4th hunt is currently underway and another super tusker is in jeopardy of losing his life.   

March 30, 2024

Cynthia Moss, the founder of Amboseli Trust for Elephants, meets with the Honorable Governor H. E. Joseph Ole Lenku of Kajiado County to discuss the issues.   Kenya Citizen TV reports on the issues.

I was quite disappointed in the TV airing from Kenya Citizen TV.   They did not document the concern for the super tuskers.    

March 31, 2024

Andrew Dankwerts, co-founder of The Odysseia Collection, releases a powerful video about the events occurring.   

April 2, 2024

Journal of African Elephants releases its article about the hunting of the super tuskers.

April 4, 2024

SWARA magazine releases out an article summarizing the events

Tsavo Trust for elephants releases the history and support (unknown date)

That leaves 2 more permits that are currently granted and 2 more elephants sure to die.    PLEASE SIGN NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!

April 9, 2024

"The 4 Percent" releases an article about the hunting.   It's a thorough article briefly discussing the history of the moratorium that was put in place 30 years ago as well as the issues with trophy hunting in genera.   It's definitely worth the read.

April 23, 2024

Africa Geographic updates its article about the trophy hunting to confirm that another 2 elephants were killed

April 24, 2024

Elephant voices puts out a powerful instagram post about Tanzania tourism being under threat due to the treatment of their local people as well as the hunting of the super tuskers

April 28, 2024

Billy Dodson, a wildlife photographer publishes a thoughtful and emotional blog about super tuskers and trophy hunting.


Here are the LINKS in one place.   Just click on the title and a new window will open to take you to the link.

Petition:

Articles:
To read the articles from Africa Geographic, you need to register - if the link still doesn't work - go to STORIES drop down menu and search for them.

Africa Geographic breaks the news of 2 super tuskers killed.

Africa Geographic breaks the news of the Identity of one elephant and information about a third elephant killed as well as the hunting industry going into stealth mode about hunting.  

Amboseli Trust for Elephants breaks the news of the identity - GilGil

Amboseli Trust for Elephants discusses the hunting moratorium and the importance of it

The Times (UK) article

Big Life's article about the third elephant being killed

Big Life collars Esau

The South African article about the 3 super tuskers being killed

The Humane Society International article

Open letter from the CEO of Africa Geographic to the Chairman of Tanzania Hunting Operators Association

Star article asking Tanzania to renew their commitment to saving Jumbos

SWARA article summarizing the events

Journal of African Elephants article

Tsavo Trust for Elephants article

Seej Africa article (with a great map)

The 4 Percent article with brief history of the moratorium and issues around trophy hunting 

New York Times article from 30 years ago about the border becoming deadly and I see how history is repeating itself

Billy Dodson releases an emotional and powerful blog about super tuskers and trophy hunting

Instagram:

Elephant Voices page - lots of posts about this and their other work

Big Life's post about the third elephant being shot

Big Life's post about the collaring of Esau with video

Amboseli Trust for Elephants - post asking people to sign the petition

Amboseli Trust for Elephants - post about discovering GilGil was one of the killed elephants.

Amboseli Trust for Elephants - post and pictures of Esau getting collared

Amboseli Trust for Elephants - their home page.  Many posts about their fabulous work and the hunting crisis.

My video from vacation about the identity of one of the elephants being killed - GilGil

My video from vacation about the third elephant killed

Elephant Voices breaks the news of the third hunt

Elephant Voices release all the information they have on the hunts

Elephant voices releases the news that a 4th hunt is underway

Elephant Voices releases a post about males and reproductive years and the elephants being targeted (with a beautiful video of Paolo, a 44 yo super tusker)

Cynthia Moss meets with Governor

Powerful video from Andrew Dankwerts about the issues

Elephant voices post about Tanzania tourism under threat

YouTube

My video about the first article released


How you can help

  • Sign the petition
  • Share the articles
  • Share the instagram posts
  • Create your own social media posts / tweets / videos to share the information
  • Donate to any of the organizations mentioned above to help save the elephants and the corridors they so desperately need to stay safe.
  • Write a letter to the Tanzania Ambassador in the USA
    H.E. Elsie Sia Kanza
    1232 22nd St. NW Washington DC. 20037
    202-884-1080, 202-939-6125
    fax:  202-797-7408
    ubalozi@tanzaniaembassy-us.org
  • Write a letter to the USA Ambassador in Tanzania
    Dr. Michael A. Battle Sr.
    686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani
    PO Box 9123
    Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    255-22-229-4000
    darwebmaster@state.gov
  • If you have any contacts in major media, tell them about this


If you know of any additional articles or reputable sources about these elephants and the hunting or know of another way to help, please contact me and I will update this post!

Thank you for standing with me to save the elephants!


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