The Last Elephants
By Don Pinnock and Colin Bell
Struik Nature (Random House Struik),2019
The Africa-wide Great Elephant Census of 2016 produced shocking fi ndings: a decimated elephant population whose numbers were continuing to plummet. Elephants are killed, on average, every 15–20 minutes – a situation that will see the fi nal demise of these intelligent, extraordinary animals in less than three decades. They are a species in crisis. This magnifi cent book offers chapters written by the most prominent people in the realm of conservation and wildlife, among them researchers, conservationists, film makers, criminologists, TV personalities and journalists. Photographs have been selected from among Africa’s best wildlife photographers, and the Foreword is provided by Prince William.
It is hoped this book will create awareness of the devastating loss of elephant lives in Africa and stem the tide of poaching and hunting; that it will inspire the delegates to CITES to make informed decisions to ensure that all loopholes in the ivory trade are closed; and that countries receiving and using ivory (both legal and poached) – primarily China, Vietnam, Laos and Japan – ban and strenuously police its trade and use within their borders, actively pursuing and arresting syndicate leaders driving the cruel poaching tsunami.
This book is also a tribute to the many people who work for the welfare of elephants, particularly those who risk their lives for wildlife each day, often for little or no pay – in particular the fi eld rangers and the anti-poaching teams; and to the many communities around Africa that have elected to work with elephants and not against them.
The Last Elephants – is the title prophetic? We hope not, but the signs are worrying.