Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
I have just viewed three remarkable online videos. They total less than five minutes, but what they have to say about African elephants — and the assault they continue to face — should resound across the world for as long as it takes to completely stop the bloody ivory trade.
Each day, perhaps a hundred elephants are poached to satisfy a growing demand for ivory. It’s usually just carved into mere trinkets that gather dust on the shelves of people who seek to show — apparently with no awareness or, worse, concern that they are fueling an incredibly brutal and illegal industry — that they are special people.
They aren’t special. They are the problem.
If elephants are to endure in Africa, where a few decades ago there were 1.3 million but now there are as few as 450,000, the public’s appetite for ivory must cease. People need to wake up and smell the carnage. They need to think globally, about how wonderful the presence of wild elephants is, and act locally: find other ways to express wealth that don’t entail so much bloodshed, stress and suffering.
Meanwhile, my Born Free USA colleague Adam Roberts and I are looking forward to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in March. During those three weeks in Bangkok, our sleeves will be rolled up and we will work tirelessly for elephants. We must succeed.