Recently released statistics from the Great Elephant Census revealed that nearly a third of the continent’s Savannah elephants were wiped out between 2007 and 2014, predominantly due to ivory poaching. The three-year-long survey was the first conducted across the African continent and found that approximately 144 000 animals were lost over a seven-year period in 15 African countries, resulting in the population of the species declining at a rate of 8% a year.
With less than 400 000 African elephants remaining and one being lost every 15 minutes of every day, experts indicate that this majestic species will be extinct by 2030. To protect Africa’s heritage and further entrench their commitment to conservation, Amarula has joined forces with Kenyan based conservation organisation WildlifeDirect, working closely with their CEO Dr Paula Kahumbu.
Kahumbu is internationally acknowledged for her conservation work, specifically as one of the protagonists of the highly successful ‘Hands off our Elephants’ campaign. She appears in an extraordinary video, shot on location in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park against the backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro. She introduces viewers to elephants by name, showcasing their behaviour in their natural habitat, likening their traits to those of humans. The short film, shot by Felix Seuffert from Butterfly Films, has been specifically crafted to raise awareness for the plight of the African elephant, whilst building the bond between man and elephant.
The Amarula campaign entitled ‘Name Them, Save Them’ personalises the prospect of losing an African elephant by sharing how like people elephants truly are, then more powerfully through the simple act of inviting people to name the surviving elephants. Through this campaign, viewers can actively participate in preserving the African elephant by casting a spotlight on the problem with their friends and family. They will be guided through an immersive online experience into a virtual digital Savannah, where they can choose an elephant, design it with a range of colourful patterns, then name and share it with friends online.
“The world needs to know that the only way to get ivory is to kill an elephant!” Dr Kahumbu reiterates, “Once you know them by name, you would never dream of hurting them.” “The African elephant is an integral part of our African heritage and culture. Just like humans, each elephant is an individual with a unique personality. We share many similarities with elephants. They are intelligent, emotional and have a strong sense of family – just like us. This campaign is about creating a connection between us and elephants and becoming actively involved in raising awareness and saving our elephants. By getting to know elephants by name, we want people to realise that they are more important than an ivory trinket. They say an elephant never forgets, but now they need us to remember them,” says Dr Paula Kahumbu.
In addition to funding this global campaign, Amarula will donate 1 USD to WildlifeDirect for every elephant named and shared per unique user. As an authentically African brand, Amarula has been committed to the protection of the African elephant since 2002 and has donated 642 000 USD to the cause over this period. The partnership with WildlifeDirect is expected to add impetus to Amarula’s conservation efforts.
“Awareness created by this campaign, combined with the expertise of Dr Paula Kahumbu and the WildlifeDirect team, will help us continue to protect the continent’s elephants that are such an important part of Africa’s heritage and Amarula’s story,” says Dino D’Araujo, Amarula Global General Manager. “Our objective is simple – to make sure that for generations to come, we continue to meet the elephants beneath the Marula trees.”
For more information, visit www.amarula.com