Essentia wrote -
It's Essentia's birthday yet again (on March 9) and we're doing another livestream for a good cause - our 5th annual birthday charity fundraiser!
Quill & Essentia will be chatting and playing games all day on Saturday, March 11th, 2017, and we're asking you all to join us for some fun, and help us do some good in the world. Wish Essentia a 'happy birthday' by helping her save some elephants!
You can find us at http://www.twitch.tv/quill18 on March 11th, beginning at 12 noon EST. The livestream will end ... when we're just too tired to go on?
This year’s beneficiary is the ‘David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’, which operates out the the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. (Note: we will be donating to the Trust via their US-based office, ‘The US friends of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’.)
DSWT in their own words: "...the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa."
Tsavo East is the one of the oldest national parks in Kenya, and David Sheldrick was the park’s ‘founding warden’. After David passed away in 1977, his wife, Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who had worked alongside David in various conservation efforts for many years, was inspired to carry on his work more ‘officially’ - thus the DSWT was born. For decades now, Dame Daphne and her team have been rescuing & hand-raising orphaned mammals, mainly elephants and rhinos (and even a hippo, recently), with the goal of rehabilitating them and returning them to the wild. They have also partnered with Kenya Wildlife Services, both in operating mobile emergency veterinary units that operate throughout the entire Kenyan national park system, and in several anti-poaching teams (ground, aerial, and K9).
Elephants are considered a 'keystone' species, which basically means that it's believed they play a vital role in the balance and overall well-being of their habitats. They are also widely considered one of the most intelligent animals on Earth, forming close bonds, helping each other in dangerous situation, crying for lost family members, comforting each other in difficult times, and remembering those who helped them for years. Rhinoceroses also serve an important function in their ecosystem. Unfortunately, both of these species have been aggressively poached, elephants for their ivory and rhinos for their horns. African elephants are currently listed as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, but they are killed at such an alarming rate (approximately 1 elephant every 15 minutes) that it's believed they will be EXTINCT within 15 years if poaching does not slow down and conservation efforts do not increase. The Black Rhinoceros is already listed as critically endangered, with fewer than 5000 individuals left in the wild.
So far, DSWT has successfully saved and rehabilitated over 150 orphaned elephants, and 14 orphaned black rhinos. Many of their now-released former orphans still return to the sanctuaries where they were raised to visit younger orphans still being cared for, as well as the Keepers who raised them. Many of the fully grown (and released) elephants have returned to the Keepers with their wild-born calves, to show off their new family!
Donating to the DSWT helps them continue to find, rescue, and raise these orphans, as well as provide medical care to the orphans and all injured animals across the park, and continue their work in combating poachers, through trap removal, community outreach, and tracking. It costs about $1000 (USD) a month to care for one orphaned elephant - not including any emergency medical care required, or the trust’s many other programs.
Let's make a difference in the lives of these beautiful animals and the kind people who spend every minute caring for them!