Drop in tourism leaves orphaned baby elephants without funding

Drop in tourism leaves orphaned baby elephants without funding
Copyright  Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
By Doloresz Katanich  with AP

African elephants could be extinct in 20 years according to the WWF.

Conservation programmes are struggling for funding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A decline in tourism, caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, is leaving projects like Nairobi's Sheldrick Wildlife Trust short of money. They have been sheltering orphaned elephants, victims of poaching and human-wildlife conflict, since 1977. And tourists have paid for much of this mission.

Their crucial work is especially important in light of last year's news from the World Wildlife Foundation. The WWF estimate that by 2040 African elephants will be extinct if poaching and human-wildlife conflicts continue as today's rate.

Even though the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is based in Kenya, last year they teamed up with artists Gillie and Marc. The collaboration left a herd of 21 life-sized bronze elephants sitting across the heart of London as a reminder of the #ElephantsOfTomorrow campaign.Each sculpture includes the name of the orphan they symbolise.

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