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Living in Harmony with Elephants, Rhinos, Lions, Sea Turtles and other Endangered Species

This is a Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative event to mark World Animal Day and the 2017 Global March for Elephants and Rhino. We aim to secure a future for elephants in Africa and inspire elephant-friendly communities by developing practical community-based strategies and disseminating knowledge about ‘Living in Harmony with Elephants, Rhinos and other Endangered Animals’.  

We will begin in Ijebu community, Nigeria, where we aim to introduce a rewilding project to return elephants to their historical ranges, with the hope of conserving the country’s remaining elephant population. Surveys in Nigeria in 2007 and 2008 reported the presence of elephants in Okomu National Park, Omo, Ifon Forest and possibly the Shasha Forest Reserve. All these populations are severely threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, especially cocoa plantations. (Ikemeh, R.A. (2008). ‘Preliminary data on forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in southwestern Nigeria’. Pachyderm 45: 117-123. and Ikemeh, R.A. (2009). Status of the Idanre Forest Reserve in Ondo State, Nigeria: A February 2009 Survey. Unpublished report. Leventis Foundation Nigeria.) Other threats to elephants include cattle herding, illegal logging, wildlife trade, land encroachment, forest fires and agriculture leading to human-elephant conflicts.

In Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi State, elephant sightings were recorded in the north-western part of the reserve and inside the Wikki camp and there were reports of elephants raiding cassava farms around Mainamaji, Kuka, Shira, Kungibar, and Duguri communities. We have evidence that elephants used to roam wild and free as far as Karu in Nasarawa state, near the current Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria.

We have a picture taken by grandchildren of a farmer who led these elephants to the palace of the Estu Karu of Karu, Nasarawa state in the 80s. Also, there are undocumented sightings and reports of people who have lived with elephants in other northern cities of Nigeria such as Kaduna and Kano.

The Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative wishes to make a case for securing the future of Africa’s elephants by involving local people in expressing their views and generating ideas in a collaborative approach to living in harmony with elephants. We will engage with people of all ages through schools, local community forums, and resident or interest groups. We hope this will generate interest and raise awareness of the importance of elephants to our communities.

We encourage the participation of these groups to generate elephant-friendly ideas through some, or all, of the following activities:

  • Photography
  • Open Mic
  • Songs, poems or art
  • Drama or short plays
  • Video clips, visual aids, posters
  • Indoor and outdoor activities such as lawn tennis

Dates: October 4, World Animal Day – October 7 Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, 2017

Venue: WildlifeAID Centre, Ijebu

Arrival and Registration: 3.00pm, October 4th.

Time of Departure: 3.00pm, October 7th.

Call Felix at 08034715121 and Naseer at 07035619831 for further details and Sponsorship/Partnership Considerations or Email: info@wildlifeafrica.org or felixabayomi@wildlifeafrica.orgor naseeralkanchi@wildlifeafrica.org

From #Akure to #IjebuOde from October 4 – October 7 we held a 4-day long advocacy for Elephants, Rhinos, Lions, Sea Turtles and other Endangered Species during the World Animal Day with the Theme of Living in Harmony with our Wildlife to ensure their Continued Survival.

In Akure, Nigeria, Our #TeanWildlifeAfrica members: Joshua Aribasoye and Okerinu Paul, together with other Volunteers took the campaign to the streets, Motor parks and even to lecture halls of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State. Needful to say that We have unverified sightings of Forest Elephants in parts of Ondo State. We are working now to confirm this and we took this proactive step to sensitize the people on Living in Harmony with Elephants and also to work for their Protection from Poachers as a Community. We as a community must protect our heritage. 

In Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria at the WildlifeAID Centre – Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative on the First day of our 4 Day Long event to mark this Year’s #WorldAnimalDay, (which was October 4 precisely), we had a group of students from the Adeola Odutalo College comes in for the Exhibitions (#Elephant#Rhinoand #SeaTurtle Education Exhibition) in a bid to educated our people and for them to love Wildlife.  We want to get this exhibition to at least 50 schools in the first instance and not wait for them to come to us. Please to support our founder’s (Felix Olusola Abayomi) funding campaign here and Donate – https://www.gofundme.com/awesome-elephants-education-exhibit 

On Day 2 of the #WorldAnimalDay, the Students made Art Work presentations. Please view the pictures of the artworks and photographs that they presented. We need to encourage these young talents. They told me they feel a connection to Elephants, Rhinos,  Lions and Sea Turtles even without having seen them with this year’s Global March. We have hope. These kids expressed themselves in artwork and we were blown away. They have graciously added these works to our Education Exhibition. We have to find a way to support these young talents. They produced these works unassisted to express themselves on Living in Harmony with Elephants, Rhinos Lions, Sea Turtles and other Endangered Species.

We showed these kids our videos of #Ariyike the Sea Turtle rescue and her journey home and several footages we came back with from Barbados that no one has seen and amazing WILD AID Education Footages on why we need to protect our Elephants, Rhinos and Pangolins. They were marveled. We also gave them the Storied Colouring book of the Sea turtle named ‘Lucky’ provided by Aktionsgemeinschaft Artenschutz (AGA) e.V.. We have a Team Turtle game by MEDASSET-Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles we could have introduced to them but these kids don’t have access to a smartphone or Internet. So we are thinking, we might have to create an opportunity for them to come to the WildlifeAID Centre – Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative and play the Team Turtle game at their leisure time. They were however treated to our small and upcoming library.

 On Day 3 of the #WorldAnimalDay, – we had a Lawn Tennis Coaching Clinic for some of the Kids. They Played for Elephants, Rhinos, Lions, Sea turtles and other Endangered Species to create Awareness on their survival and living in Harmony with them. We have decided to form these Children into #TeamWildlifeAfrica #lawntennis team to specifically use sports to create awareness for Wildlife of Africa Survival and Living in Harmony with them. We shall mentor them, train them and start entering them into competitions as opportunities present itself. Watch out for them in days to come in your local sports event.
On Day 4, the 7th of October, the D-day of the #WorldAnimalDay, we marched to also coincide with the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos (#GMFER2017) advocacy event.
As few as our Elephants, Rhinos, Lions and other Endangered Species are, we also marched to create awareness for our Species Survival and Living in Harmony with them. We Marched for #Justice4Wildlife, for #Justice4All and for #JusticeForHumansandNonhumans. Highpoint of the day for us was the surprise expressed by the generality of people we interacted with that there is a group speaking for Animal Rights in Nigeria. Yes, we are here. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a step. We have taken that step, together with these amazing and talented youngsters. They took out time to display their artwork too during the March. We believe in the power of “1”. One convert at a time.
We say a very big thank you to our volunteers, with a special tribute to our youngsters. They were phenomenal. #WorldAnimalDay, #Nigeria is a success. 
Now, the real work begins. We must not be tired or relent in our efforts at a Sustained Wildlife Education to inspire a whole new Wildlife Friendly Generation. Please support our campaign and make your donation to help us achieve our set goal and objective. Thank you
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