Born Free USA Blog
by Adam M Roberts,
Chief Executive Officer
When it comes to animals, Adam Roberts not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Since beginning his animal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. in 1991, Adam's ambition, tireless involvement, and profound knowledge of conservation and wildlife issues have cemented him as a go-to voice for protecting animals — and he has elevated Born Free USA to the respected and impactful organization that we know today. Adam's compassionate, informed, and forward-thinking blogs will surely motivate you to join us in our fight to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.
What an exciting time for elephants! Born Free continues our decades-long struggle to save elephants across Africa from deadly poachers’ bullets, and now is a pivotal moment in our historic quest to preserve pachyderms peacefully in the wild, where they belong.
On Friday, October 4, I joined hundreds of other compassionate conservationists in Washington, DC at one of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s International March for Elephants – taking place in more than a dozen major cities worldwide from Malawi to Thailand to England to America. After marching through the nation’s capitol in solidarity over the mission of saving elephants, I had the privilege of speaking to the gathered masses in front of the White House. With an estimated 30,000 elephants poached annually now, we all need to rally in their aid.
I spoke of seeing my first elephant in Kenya at age 5. And then, ten years later, of seeing my first poached elephant. The horror. You can read my speech here and, as always, learn more at www.bloodyivory.org.
And, while we seek to crush the ivory trade once and for all, the U.S. government has announced that it is going to crush its stockpiled ivory! In an effort to send a worldwide message against elephant poaching, the U.S. government will destroy 25 years’ worth of confiscated elephant ivory by pouring it into a rock crusher. In all, 5.4 tons of ivory will be pulverized. I’m honored that Adam Roberts, Born Free USA Executive Vice President, has been invited to witness this bold, unapologetic step toward crushing this bloody industry. The crush was actually supposed to have already happened, but the government shutdown in the U.S. has caused its postponement. We’ll definitely let you know when it’s rescheduled, and Adam will report all the details from the event.
Meanwhile, the CRUSH THE IVORY TRADE tee shirts done in aid of Born Free USA sold very successfully, meaning nearly $2,000 to Born Free USA for our fight to stop the bloody ivory trade. Thanks to everyone at Float who produced and sold the shirts in our honor.
But we mustn’t forget that the ivory trade not only decimates entire populations of elephants, but destroys individual families and takes the lives of individual animals with mothers or grandmothers or sisters or daughters or granddaughters. Each individual elephant matters and deserves our compassion. Whether subjected to the trade in ivory, or sold live into captivity in zoos and in circuses.
We are now marking the 30th anniversary of the death of Pole Pole, an African elephant sent from the wild in Kenya to the London Zoo. She was the inspiration for Born Free as an organization and we have just used this sad anniversary as a reason to look at all the lone elephants still languishing as she did, alone in a zoo enclosure. Have a read. You’ll be inspired, as I am, to redouble your efforts to save elephants everywhere.
We have done so much together to save the elephants – but our work is far from over.