News / USA

Kenyan Makes 900-Km US Trek to Fight Elephant Poaching

Man on a Missioni
X
October 02, 2013 6:25 PM
Kenyan conservation activist wraps up Boston-to-Washington walk to raise awareness about African elephant poaching, timing his arrival in the U.S. capital to take part in Friday's International March for Elephants, an event that includes simultaneous marches in about 30 cities around the world. VOA's Pam Dockins has more.
Pamela Dockins
Jim Nyamu is a man on a mission. With Kenyan flag in hand, he has spent the past month crossing the northeastern United States on foot, stopping along the way to tell people how a growing demand for elephant ivory, especially in Asia, has fueled an increase in poaching that could drive some elephant populations to extinction.
 
Why United States? Because Americans, Nyamu says, aren't aware of the severity of the problem.
 
"Many people ask me the same question: '[Why should we as Americans] be bothered by the poaching which is happening?' " he says shortly after completing his 900-kilometer trek from Boston to Washington. "And I still say back to them that America is still the second leading consumer of ivory.”
 
Since his arrival in the nation's capital, where his visit has been timed to coincide with Friday's International March for Elephants — an event that includes simultaneous marches in about 30 cities around the world — he's been discussing the elephants' plight.
 
A primary challenge he encounters, he says, is that people often admire products made from ivory without associating the items with the elephants' demise — that when poachers cut off the elephants' ivory tusks, the animals usually die.
 
The World Wildlife Fund says nearly 100 elephants are killed every day in Africa, illegally, by poachers.
 
According to Crawford Allan, WWF North American international wildlife trade monitoring program director, poaching has been particularly devastating for a subspecies known as the forest elephant.
 
“Over the past 10 years, they have lost about 50 percent of the elephants in the forests of Africa and, therefore, in the next 10 years, there is a potential that all forest elephants will be gone completely," he says. "That whole subspecies will be gone, leaving the savannah elephants only in the rest of eastern southern Africa.”
 
Allan says deterring poachers who are often driven by organized, transnational criminal syndicates, is a massive challenge for African nations, whose rangers are often underfunded, poorly trained and lack the equipment required to cover vast swaths of land in order to protect elephant populations.
 
“You are looking for the needle in the haystack, literally, a lot of the times," he says. "Elephants are very big animals, but actually in a huge landscape, they are very, very small to find and detect. And so, it is very, very hard to protect those animals.”
 
As for Jim Nyamu, his foot campaign to raise awareness about poaching will not end in Washington, as he has recently planned long walks on the West Coast of the United States and in China.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mk from: Us
October 09, 2013 2:29 AM
Fantastic


by: ana from: madrid spain
October 03, 2013 4:29 PM
Shameful and disgusting


by: Christine hornecker from: France
October 03, 2013 12:05 PM
Thank you , you are an ANGEL !! You will stay all my life in my heart !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid