There is hope for elephants

Carla Geyser (centre) and some of The Elephant Ignite Expedition crew assisted with elephant collaring. Here they are next to a tranquilised elephant.

IT has been a year since the all-female group of intrepid adventurers embarked on their 15 787 kilometre expedition across Africa. Their aim was to raise funds and awareness for the endangered elephant.

To commemorate World Elephant Day on 12 August the Northglen News caught up with local conservationist, Carla Geyser who lead The Elephant Ignite Expedition.

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While an elephant is still being poached every 15 minutes Geyser said she believed they were slowly making headway

Education is our biggest weapon. More people are talking about it, which has put pressure on poachers,” she said.

She said these social pressures also recently pushed China into closing down its ivory factories.

Carla Geyser assisted Dr Cobus Raath of Elephants Alive, by administering the anitidote to wake up Ignite, a collared elephant who was named after the expedition. Geyser and the other women raised funds for the project.

“If we were able to educate at least one child on the importance of conservation and were able to turn them in to a ranger rather than a poacher our trek across Africa was a success,” said Geyser.

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Through their journey last year they were not only able to raise funds and highlight the issue of poaching, but were also able to get other organisations and conservationists talking to each other.

“The trip and all the amazing unsung heroes that we have met along the way have inspired me and left me wanting to do more,” she said.

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Geyser also encouraged the public to do their part.

“They don’t have to lead an expedition or donate funds – even if they simply made a point of educating others and sharing the message it goes a long way,” she said.

Contact Carla Geyser on [email protected].

Mariclair Smit

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