We hear a lot about wildlife in decline and a little about the success stories of the conservation work occurring all around the world. As a conservationist artist I read these stories with interest as nature has been a passion of mine all my life. My earliest memories are of frosty mornings on a nature reserve watching birds with my father.
We hear about elephants and tigers all the time and I wonder if we have become immune to the stories as these animals are so far away. Poaching and elephants isn’t new but there was a time when it had died down and elephant populations were on the increase but in recent years there seems to have been renewed vigor on the poaching front. The huge bull elephant killed a few months ago was one I saw when I was in Kenya years ago. A majestic male who had to be seen to feel his presence and the history of elephants in that land. I actually cried that day as I remembered the feeling of sheer delight as I watched the herds of elephants including the babies wandering as they fed from the acacia trees. There is nothing like seeing a herd of elephants close too-the power, the strength and yet the gentleness is humbling and inspiring.
This week I read in The Times that there is now concern over giraffe populations and they may all be classed as endangered after a full audit next year.Currently 2 sub species out of the 9 are endangered! The main issues seem to be loss of habitat and poaching for bush meat. There are thought to be less than 80,000 giraffes left compared to 450,000 elephants. Elephants et the money because they are so iconic and there is so much media and interest in them. Thats all good in my book but it seems its time to look at some of the other species being neglected. Can you imagine a world with no gorgeous blue-tongued giraffes?
Being with elephants in such close proximity inspired the painting THE ELEPHANT AND BUTTERFLY. The original is sold but you can buy the Limited Edition Giclee prints here