Satao - The Death of a Great Tusker
In June 2014, poachers killed Satao, a great tusker that was one of the oldest and largest elephants in Africa. The Great Elephant Census film crew was fortunate to capture footage with the help of local filmmakers during our Tsavo National Park, Kenya aerial survey. We created this short video with what may be some of the last footage of the magnificent bull alive with the hope that his death will raise awareness of the danger these animals face and inspire more people to take action and become elephant advocates.
The Elephant Movie Filmmakers Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone, who captured these final shots of Satao while filming for the Great Elephant Census continue to share their experiences from the ground in Tsavo. You can read their blog here.
Every Elephant Counts
The primary mission of the Great Elephant Census is to collect high-quality foundational data on African elephants across their range that meets rigorous internationally set standards. This data can then be used to help identify vulnerable populations, poaching hot spots and blocked corridors for movement. Ultimately this data can be used to help shape national and international policy regarding elephant protections and conservation action plans, as well as ivory trade regulations, and ensure that they are all based on the best available science. By focusing on elephants -- iconic animals that are essential to the vitality of the ecosystems where they live and are currently under intense, sometimes unprecedented, poaching pressure -- we become more educated of their lives and aware of the threats to their viability. With this knowledge, we cannot help but become their advocates too.
Take Action Now
Governments and organizations worldwide are working to protect African elephants and resolve the current poaching crisis, however Satao’s death shows that the fight has really only just begun and much more needs to be done:
BornFree’s Bloody Ivory campaign aims to stop the ivory trade which fuels poaching, as well as help shape trade and protection regulations and support nations in their implementation of CITES commitments and obligations.
Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 Elephants campaign refers to the number of elephants estimated to be killed in Africa each day. 96 Elephants is seeking 1 million signatories across the global to pledge to not buy or sell ivory, and support instituting moratoria on ivory sales in countries where the trade remains.