A little publicized tragedy, also resulting from the pandemic, has befallen wildlife, particularly those populations in developing countries. Take the case of the African elephant for instance. In the decade prior to the emergence of COVID-19, African elephant populations were already in decline by approximately 30%. They were devastated by poaching, illegal trade and habitat loss. Entire families of elephants were gunned down, snared in inhumane traps and mutilated to meet the demands of the illegal ivory trade.
Today, as the Coronavirus has spread causing people in many countries to shelter-in-place and avoid travel, tourism has ground to a halt. Tourism, such as safari adventuring and other-wildlife-related travel has been essential to both the general economies of African countries that host elephant populations and to the specific efforts they employ to protect their elephants. What's more, philanthropic donations to NGOs who are key governmental partners have all but dried up...lost amid broader philanthropic concerns about the virus. And, finally, with parks and other wilderness areas devoid of tourists, poachers have become emboldened in their hunt for ivory and related wildlife parts.
NGO wildlife heroes, such as those at the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (www.lilongwewildlife.org), however, persist in their efforts. They doggedly continue striving to protect and recover elephants, lions, giraffe and myriad little-known species, such as the pangolin.
You can help organizations like the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust by visiting their website, getting the word out about the plight of elephants and other creatures, providing donations, running your own "GoFundMe"-type fundraising campaign or providing professional, virtual
volunteer services to help them raise funds.
For more information on how you can help, write us at email@example.com
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