Keep On Marching

Nine months ago I was told that there was nothing that I could personally do to stop the slaughter of these animals. Well maybe not…but I was not going to become a silent witness to this rampant destruction. I was not going to watch from the sidelines as elephants and rhinos evaporate into the mist…lost in translation and crushed under the heels of supposed civilization.

Disturbing images of mutilated and bloated elephant carcasses jump off the page as a person’s mind closes down and they are unable to look and so I decided that I would raise awareness on the plight of these animals through the pent up emotion that pounds through my veins. I am a white African with a deep passion for this harsh and timeless land..that is the African bush and the wildlife. My passion for elephants began many years ago and as I have grown so has my love and respect for them. These ambassadors of the wild have shared with us their intelligence, love and compassion and I feel that we owe it them to stop the destruction. There is a magic that surrounds elephants and I aspire to be a part of the force that ensure that they continue to spread their harmony over the sun drenched bush.

I always wanted to be one of the herd

jenny as elephant - ready to send

All one needs is the passion to to go out there and do what you have to do. My passion spurs me on. There is always something that each person can do to assist in this ‘poaching war.’ I have built my blog from 6 hits to 15 000 hits and my main aim was to appeal to the Chinese people that buying something so symbolic of suffering and death is morally wrong. 9 months later..the most traffic onto my blog is  from China.  As the weeks passed like fading shadows, I felt like I was still drifting in the stream of the world and this was not good enough. I would be delighted if my blog was earning money..but it does not and the fire in my belly is always to do more and through a series of events I came across Chengeta Wildlife.

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Rory Young is a professional tracker with 25 years of experience and he is also the co-author of ‘A Field Manual For Anti-Poaching Activities.’ and he has embarked on an honorable journey of sharing his knowledge and skills. 

‘This book is the first of its kind, showing clearly how poaching processes work and explaining the strategies, skills and techniques necessary to disrupt those processes. It stresses the need for deterrence and how to stop the problem before it starts. The goal is to provide a free printed copy to all anti-poaching units.’

A manual well worth reading..and full of information.  This manual provides intense and detailed evaluation of how to decipher even the smallest and at times what might appear to be unimportant detail and encompass it all into the strategy. In the preface they talk about the fact that our existence clings to the fragile towers that are made up of innumerable life forms that we share this beautiful world with. When individual species are destroyed, we change their impact on the ecosystems and eventually the towers will begin to crumble and fall…causing a domino effect. We have to be incredibly egotistical to believe that we can survive without these ecosystems.

 Chengeta Wildlife is a force for good, offering a comprehensive solution to help combat the evils of poaching and I was inspired and determined to help in raising some funds for them.

I have now been asked and have accepted with great honour and delight a position on Chengeta Wildlife’s Board of  Directors.

‘Rangers and scouts are brave men who risk their lives to protect wildlife. They may face heavily armed poachers, sometimes ex-guerrilla fighters hired by ivory smuggling syndicates. These rangers need to have the best training and anti-poaching strategy possible and that is what Chengeta Wildlife provide.’

The programme is already proving successful as anti-poaching operations undertaken as part of the training uncovered several poaching syndicates operating in the area, some with links to neighboring Mozambique and as far away as China, highlighting the global scale of the poaching problem.  Arrests were made and the culprits handed over to the appropriate authorities.

I am  helping to ensure that these giants along with rhinos, lions and other wildlife will continue to feel the warmth of the sun on their backs.

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What else can I do? Never in my wildest dreams did I see my African self marching in defense of elephants and rhinos in LONDON. What an amazing atmosphere there was on Saturday 4th October. Despite the rain which was reluctant to lift and let the sun break free from the grey clouds, the little girls were bubbling with excitment even though their view of the crowd did not get above hip height. They wore their home painted ‘Chengeta Wildlife’ tee shirts with pride, happy to show their backs to anyone who would look. The noise amplified into an overpowering hum, echoing off the large buildings towering high in this concrete jungle..a far cry from the tangled bush and cerulean sky..home of the African Elephants and Rhinos. Inhaling the sweet damp scent of rain we marched with our Zimbabwean flag held high becoming one with the noisy teeming mass of humanity as we marched, chatted, laughed and shouted. As I marched I could feel soft whispers from the African bush and the hair on the nape of my neck prickled and a lump the size of a green apple was lodged firmly in my throat. My memories, sweet with the wonder of seeing these majestic giants in the wild and compels me to do anything in my power to help to ensure that these memories do not become just faded photographs in my memoirs: crumpled pages of inadequate words.

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girls with their tee shirts

Our little girls – dressed and ready to march for Elephants and Rhinos and showing their support for Chengeta Wildlife

Thousands of people had taken to the streets in 130 cities around the world lifting their voices to raise awareness of the plight faced by these critically endangered animals.

‘The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos will aim to achieve a full worldwide ban on the trade of ivory and rhino horn, the implementation of tougher penalties for wildlife crime, and the strengthening of law enforcement in consumer countries and range states. In addition, they will also make the demand that ivory and rhino shops and carving factories are shut down immediately.’

China..as I have said many times…’Hear the mournful ballad of the grey dove as death: a foul miasmic presence reaches out over the sun kissed bush of Africa. This is a scene that should be grotesque and offensive to eyes, ears and nostrils..and to those people who buy ivory. Sadly money talks..and money only talks when there is a demand. STOP THE DEMAND AND CLOSE THE CARVING FACTORIES.

CHINA..THIS IS THE TRUE COST OF IVORY TRINKETS

The mutilated bodies of elephants are left behind in the bush but their personal treasures or blood ivory leaves a trail of blood that stretches from Africa by air, sea and highway into Chinese carving factories. China has 37 licensed carving factories and calls to shut down these factories are studiously ignored. Mr. Zhao Shucong holds the destiny of Africa’s magnificent giants in his hands. China and Mr. Zhao Shucong needs to take responsibility for the fact that they are fueling the trade that is decimating African elephants. Here is a petition demanding that China bans all ivory

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Elephants are a source of great peace and wisdom that us humans should take note off. Humans, as the ‘rational thinking animals’ have the ability to alter their destructive tendencies. The thought of a world without these sentient giants is unthinkable. We have already caused such disharmony in their lives..but there is time to change..but we have to do it now. The challenge now..is to reshape some outdated perceptions and we all need to play a role.

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Poaching is illegal. The consequences of being caught must out weigh the rewards.

Please have a look at our amazing website: chengetawildlife.org

”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

GO OUT AND DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO HELP SAVE ELEPHANTS AND RHINOS

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5 thoughts on “Keep On Marching

  1. This weeks blog is fantastic!!! You are such an inspiration! We are all so proud to be associated to Chengeta Wildlife through you – they are a brilliant charity, on the ground — with a plan! Having marched in London on Saturday with you, read every single blog and beautiful and sometimes very haunting poems, done the Wolf Run to raise money for Chengeta – I feel very fired up…and it is all because of one person – YOU! You are making a difference….to me, to my girls and all over the world people are gathering momentum to just say NO MORE! Well done – you make me proud to be your daughter every day!

  2. Jenny you say how it is in the words we would all like to be able to say. You are one of my heroes for our beautiful wildlife. I do despair and cry a lot when I see and read the murder and cruelty of these fantastic animals. I sign and share all I can and live in hope that humans will realise that all animals are precious.

  3. Jen Jen Jen so beautifully written . Straight from the heart. So enjoyed reading this weeks blog.
    Nine months ago this was all a dream you were telling us about and now look at you WELL DONE !!!
    (am going to remember my little sandles – follow your dream )

    So proud of you too special lady in joining CHENGETA WILD LIFE. Amazing amazing………..

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