BENEFITING: Big Life Foundation USA
In October 2016 a team of participants from the Omluxe "Adventure in Africa" Retreat are traveling to Kenya, Africa where they will help support the work of "The Big Life Foundation" and raise awareness around the issues of Elephant Poaching and Trafficking of Ivory.
The Big Life Foundation was co-founded by photographer Nick Brandt and award-winning conservationist Richard Bonham in September 2010. Since its inception, Big Life has expanded to employ hundreds of local Maasai rangers—with more than 40 permanent outposts and tent-based field units, 13 vehicles, tracker dogs, and aerial surveillance—protecting 2 million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa. Big Life was the first organization in East Africa to establish coordinated cross-border anti-poaching operations.
To date, Big Life's rangers have made over 2,000 arrests and confiscated over 3,000 weapons and poaching tools. Recognizing that sustainable conservation can only be achieved through a collaborative, community-based approach, Big Life uses innovative conservation strategies to address the greatest threats, reduce the loss of wildlife to poaching, combat the ivory trade, mitigate human-wildlife conflict, protect the great predators, and manage scarce and fragile natural resources.
Big Life’s goal is to take the successful holistic conservation model established in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem and replicate it across the African continent.
Since 2008, there has been a massively increased demand for ivory from China and the Far East. Ivory prices have soared from $200 a pound in 2004 to in excess of $1500 a pound today. Some experts estimate that as many as 35,000 elephants a year are being slaughtered, 10% of Africa's elephant population each year alone.