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Big Life News

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SHUTTING DOWN SUPPLY – ANOTHER IVORY BUST
May 2, 2017

It started simply enough as they all do: with a phone call. One of Big Life’s informers caught wind of a clue and alerted our trained intelligence team. From there, it can take several days or even weeks, but eventually, an ambush is laid

Medium
ANOTHER BIG YEAR
April 21, 2017

A Note from Richard Bonham, Director of Operations:  “Every day, I see ‘situation reports’ come in from Big Life’s Radio Room, records of anything of note that has taken place across the Amboseli/Tsavo/Kilimanjaro

Medium
IVORY DEALERS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES IN AMBOSELI
March 26, 2017

The Big Life informer network never sleeps. It’s a web of eyes and ears, spun wide and lying in wait for the prey: the dealers of illegal wildlife products. And it is proving to be increasingly successful. The most recent catch was two days

Medium
THE TROUBLE WITH ELEPHANTS
February 19, 2017

Mayoyo Kutata is lucky to be alive. Last week, the 30-year-old mother of four was herding the family goats in the late afternoon and stopped to chop some wood for the evening cooking. Caught up in the routine of these daily tasks, she didn’t

Medium
THE TEACHER WHO TRIED THE IVORY TRADE
January 24, 2017

For the last few days, the local community has crowded around every available television in Amboseli, trying to process events happening on the other side of the world, with the planet’s population united in concern about the profound impact that decisions made thousands of kilometres away can have on all of us. It is this same interconnected world that moves ivory from an elephant’s face in Africa to a dining room table on the other side of the globe as a carved trinket.

Medium
CROSS-BORDER IVORY SMUGGLERS NABBED
January 15, 2017

It seems an obvious solution; if the selling price of a product drops in one country then why not try selling it in a neighbouring one? The three men decided to try the Kenyan border town of Namanga. They had four whole tusks to sell, 40kg of ivory,

Medium
UNITED THEY STAND (But Only with Your Help):
December 4, 2016

Many of you by now know the elephant in the photo above. Her name is Qumquat, seen here in Amboseli one July afternoon in 2012. Several days after I took this photo, Qumquat and two of her daughters were brutally murdered by one of Amboseli’s

Medium
IVORY DEALERS RUNNING SCARED AFTER SERIES OF BUSTS
October 10, 2016

The men sat at a small roadside restaurant, waiting for the ivory to arrive. A Big Life vehicle cruised past, this unit on a separate mission, and a look of concern flashed across the ivory dealer’s face. He turned to his companion and said,

Medium
TRAPPING THE IVORY TRADERS
August 25, 2016

At what point does a poacher decide the stakes are too high? Is there a minimum amount of money below which they won’t kill an elephant? If there is, that price point may be shifting. The reports all say that the price of ivory is falling internationally.

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Ranger of the Month

Medium
Ranger of the month: January 2016
February 13, 2016

It’s hard to think straight when you’ve got a lion on your roof, but a warrior’s spear had already glanced off the car and Seiko had to act fast. He put his foot down and the little Suzuki 4x4 went crashing through the bush…

Medium
BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, APRIL 2015: MOLOIMET LEGOS
May 19, 2015

By mid afternoon, the warriors found their quarry, resting under a bush. Seemingly aware of the futility of running, the full-grown male lion stood and charged. At the same instant, Moloimet Legos stepped forward and launched the first spear…

Medium
BIG LIFE RANGER OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2014: SENIOR SERGEANT LEKINA OLEMPUMPU
December 6, 2014

Anti-poaching rangers are strong, courageous individuals. They spend whole days patrolling the bush, tracking poachers, and keeping the peace between wildlife and humans. It takes an even stronger character to lead these men…

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Bush Journal

Medium
AN UPDATE FROM OUR DIRECTOR (Q1 2017)
May 9, 2017

Water. Most of the western world turns on a tap and takes the resulting stream for granted. Here in Amboseli, rainfall dictates everything, and the consequences of poor rainfall weave their way through everything in turn. For example, we experienced

Medium
BIG LIFE’S CANINE HEROES
April 13, 2017

When a bloodhound chooses a direction, the handler has little choice but to follow. As the team closes in on the target, the scents get stronger and the dog grows more confident, pulling ever harder at the leash. By the end, it can be a flat out sprint,

Medium
CATCHING A CROCODILE CATCHER
April 6, 2017

We think that the poacher did it with some kind of home-made trap, probably big hooks tied onto the end of a rope and wrapped in meat. The crocodile swallowed the bait, hooks and all, and the killer either waited for it to die or pulled it straight

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Big Life Events

Medium
THIS WEEK – LIMITED BIG LIFE MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE
March 19, 2017

If you missed Big Life’s t-shirt sale last fall, you’re in luck, because we’re bringing the design back for one more limited run! Available  NOW until March 27 th , you can order a special edition t-shirt, tank, or market

Medium
SILVER SATAO SUPPORTS BIG LIFE
January 27, 2017

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the silver Satao is once again available in support of Big Life. The design was created by sculptor Camilla Le May in memory of the magnificent Tsavo tusker Satao, who was tragically killed for his ivory

Medium
BIG LIFE FEATURED IN NETFLIX' THE IVORY GAME
November 1, 2016

Premiering on Netflix   on November 4  is what we consider to be the best documentary ever made about elephant conservation and wildlife trafficking,  “The Ivory Game” . Three years in the making, filmed

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African News

Medium
HONORING SATAO 2
March 6, 2017

Three years ago, Satao, one of the greatest remaining big tusker elephants in East Africa, was gunned down in his prime by poachers for his ivory.  Today, we mourn another of these last giant tuskers: Satao 2, killed by poachers

Medium
ELEPHANTS WIN (SORT OF), LIONS LOSE AT CITES
October 3, 2016

Imagine finding an elephant carcass, two beautiful big tusks still embedded in the enormous skull. A natural death, no wrongdoing on the part of humans, so there’s no harm in selling those tusks. Right? Absolutely wrong. Legal trade

Medium
THE NEW ELEPHANT CENSUS
August 31, 2016

BAD NEWS ACROSS MOST OF AFRICA, BUT IN AMBOSELI, A SMALL INCREASE IN THE ELEPHANT POPULATION We have all been dreading the release of the Great Elephant Census, and sadly, the estimates have been confirmed: nearly 30,000 elephants have died

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Worldwide News

Medium
AN ELEPHANT-SIZED EVENT
March 31, 2017

Today is a big day. No, it's a huge day. From what we understand 67 Chinese ivory trading outlets (including some factories) will be permanently closing their doors by the end of it. At the start of the year the conservation world celebrated China's

Medium
THE HAPPIEST NEW YEAR FOR THE ELEPHANT (& A B.F.D.)
January 1, 2017

As many of you now know, China announced on Friday that it was banning all commerce in ivory by the end of 2017. With an estimated 70% of (illegal) ivory sold in China, this means that the world’s largest ivory market will be shut down. To

Medium
DO WE WANT ANOTHER ELEPHANT MASSACRE?
September 24, 2016

More than 100,000 elephants dead, and countless human lives lost. It’s been a long and bloody journey into a tunnel of darkness, but there is finally, POTENTIALLY, some light at the end of it. A recent Africa-wide survey showed expected