Reports recently emerged suggesting that Hillary Clinton has agreed to use her position and political contacts to help aid the fight for the survival of African elephants. She recently met with representatives from various environmental groups at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo, where it is thought that she pledged her support to the plight of one of Africa’s most important animals.
Many people who go on veterinary work experience projects in Africa choose to work with elephants, and this news will be warmly received by anyone who works closely with wildlife on the continent.
It is thought that the former Secretary of State will use her political connections, built up over her years travelling to other countries, to help in the fight against the illegal ivory trade. Political will is an important weapon against the illegal trade, and she will also be able to raise awareness of the issues facing the world’s largest land animal in the United States.
The growing demand for ivory in Asia is fuelling the illegal slaughter of elephants across Africa. Ivory is now selling for as much as $1,000 a pound, leading to the illegal killing of 30,000 elephants in 2012 alone, according to World Wildlife Fund figures. To put this in perspective, this is the largest number of illegal killings in two decades. The worst hit species has been the African forest elephant, which has seen its population plummet over 75% in a single decade.
People who sign up for veterinary work experience programmes in Africa often do so because they have a desire to help some of the most endangered animals on the continent, and the fact that someone as well known and respected as Hillary Clinton will be joining the fight is going to be seen very positively by anyone involved in animal conservation.
It is not the first time that Clinton has demonstrated an interest in African wildlife. She also hosted a conference last year in Washington about the issue, showing that she is serious about the issue.
The news also comes on the heels of the launch of President Obama’s initiative to combat wildlife trafficking. He recently announced the creation a task force and pledged $10 million to various African governments to take on the problem posed by poaching.
For people signing up to veterinary work experience programmes, or anyone else interested in conservation in Africa, this is all excellent news and will hopefully help to improve wildlife conservation efforts across the continent.
Gap Africa Projects provides a number of gap year projects across Africa for people who want to help communities across the continent, including projects focused on conservation, sports and wildlife training. More information can be found at the company’s website at http://www.gapafricaprojects.com .
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