Some days I feel like I’m leading a double life. One second a conservationist in the wild, the next one a mother wiping noses. One weekend in Bangkok’s crazy markets surrounded by ivory jewellery, the next one headed for Africa where elephants and rhinos are on the receiving end of the poachers…
Sad to say I saw just as much ivory jewellery, carvings and amulets on sale in the markets as I did six months ago, although there was some encouraging signs from sellers who now told us that foreigners couldn’t take the ivory back home, and stickers displaying similar warnings on some stalls. Of course that won’t stop Thais buying the stuff, and some sellers told us if the item was small enough we could hide it in our luggage…
On another note, tonight Andy, Solo and I head back to Zimbabwe to see how our friends in the Save Valley Conservancy are doing. We can’t wait to be breathing in that fresh African air after Singapore’s recent troubles with pollution caused by illegal fires in Indonesia.
Save Valley has had a few wins fighting the rhino poaching, and the losses this year have not been as bad as in previous years. That’s due to the increased efforts of people like Bryce and Lara Clemence, their tireless anti-poaching rangers and the ranchers themselves, who despite having little or no income now, keep on supporting the rhino anti-poaching.
I like to think also that in some small way the support that our fundraising efforts in Australia have provided that are helping keep rangers on the ground has made a difference. Organisations like the SAVE Foundation have been supporting rhino conservation in Zimbabwe’s conservancies for decades, which is why I’m working with them now to try and raise some much needed funds to keep rhinos safe.
SAVE AFRICAN RHINOS GALA DINNER
If you’ve ever wanted to do something to help African rhinos and you live in Sydney, you’ve got your chance right now. All you have to do is come to a lovely 3 course dinner with wine and beer included for only $100/head, and come and bid on some safaris, wine and art (lots more!), at Papaya Thai Restaurant, Cammeray on Tuesday 6th August. Book online here!
The SAVE African Rhinos Gala Dinner doubles as a book launch for my new book, “Planet Elephant”.
Tickets are selling fast to the event and only a hundred will be sold, so don’t leave it too late to book! Looking forward to seeing you there!