Here we are again on My Wild Path! I hope you’re enjoying these Autumn days, despite the difficult situation caused by the pandemic emergency all over the world. Remember to always stay positive and keep safe. You can still enjoy these days in the warm environment of your home. You can relax in front of a nice fireplace, reading some books and eating chestnuts. And why not finishing that work or project that you never had the time to finish before?
I’m here to talk about the new Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release project, which is really amazing in my opinion. This project immediately caught my attention for two reasons. First, it takes place in Tanzania, a country that I really love and that I visited twice. Home of the Serengeti and other amazing national parks, it’s a place so rich of wildlife and biodiversity. A true heaven for wildlife lovers! I really hope to be able to go back there again soon! And the second reason is that the idea behind this project is so simple but at the same time so outstanding and effective, that I immediately fell in love with it. Let me give you a brief introduction of the “Save the elephants with bees” campaign.
Africa is home to around 415.000 of the largest walking animals on Earth, the African elephants. Between 2014 and 2019, Tanzania has lost 60% of its elephants, leading as a country with the largest poaching threat in Africa by the end of 2015. Tanzania lost over 85.181 elephants mainly due to poaching to meet to the demand of ivory from Asian countries such as China and Vietnam. The country was then left with only 43.330 elephants out of 109.051 that used to roam in the wild.
Later in late 2015, a new regime took place in Tanzania; president Magufuli took office and promised to end the poaching. He came up with a strong plan to protect all wildlife in the country. Since then, elephant numbers began to slowly increase to 60.000. Alert for Endangered Wildlife Species (AFeWis) was created in 2016 to protect elephants in all possible ways, fighting against human/elephant conflicts. They have put a genius solution in place. This idea is at the heart of the new Wild & Free campaign “Save the elephants with bees”.
Elephants and bees are not friends, and this is precisely what can save those gentle giants. Elephants do not care about borders and cross the boundaries of National Parks by breaking down fences into farmers’ lands to feast on their crops like maize, beans, banana plantations and so forth. Angry to loose their source of income but also in danger, farmers want to poison or kill the pachyderms.
AFeWis (Alert for Endangered Wildlife Species) is resolving the human/wildlife conflict between farmers and elephants by installing beehives along the borders of National Parks. This way, when elephants approach the National Park boundaries, the disturbed bees attack and elephants simply turn around as they are afraid of bees. They say elephants remember.. and they certainly do, not coming back to these areas. Let’s not forget that bees make honey, and this naturally provides a new source of income to the local communities.
Since April 2019, AFeWis have built 64 beehive fences to protect two villages and four gateways in and out of Arusha National Park. By doing this, they succeeded in protecting wild elephants too. This has already proved to be a success; 50+ elephants that used to destroy agricultural crops have not returned in that particular area. AFeWis will continue to expand their efforts to other National Parks such as Manyara National Park. For each new project, 100 beehives will be built and installed: Manyara National Park, Burunge wildlife management area and Tarangire National Park.
Currently, AFeWis needs to install further 36 beehives to fill a gap where elephants cross from Arusha National Park into a village and farmers land. A single beehive costs £55 (or $70). This includes 3 poles, binding wires, cement and crude black oil for painting the poles. By donating to this project, your name will appear on a beehive as shown in the example above. And that’s not all, there’s also a great opportunity to visit the project directly.
Geraldine Morelli, Founder and Director of Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release, also runs an independent travel company committed to responsible tourism, offering personal service and unique travel experiences with Morelli Travel, and its sister agency Rare Encounters, specialised in exceptional, bespoke African safaris. If you travel to Tanzania and book through Geraldine, she will donate a beehive on your behalf. Also, she can arrange a visit to the project for you so you can see your name on the beehive. That’s really awesome, isn’t it?
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Please consider making a donation to this project, every amount counts and makes the difference. You can help Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release with its new project by making a donation clicking on the link here below:
You can also donate via Paypal, accessible from the charity website’s homepage, or why not starting a fundraising event? That’s a great way to give your precious contribute. Another way to help is by shopping on Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release online shop. Here you can find beautiful bespoke Elephant merchandise, with 100% of the profit going to this campaign.
Last but not least, you can donate also here on my website. Just check my Save The Wildlife page and click on the “Donate” box. In the same page you can also find more information about Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release, its projects and its great conservation work. Don’t forget to check and follow Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release website, Facebook page, Instagram and Youtube channel for all the news and updates.
Thanks on behalf of Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release.