By Tim Sandle
A new campaign day has been established to help highlight the plight of African elephants. The event is called Tusker Day and it takes place on September 22nd.
The date for Tusker Day (also known as Elephant Appreciation Day) has been selected in honor of Satao, Africa's largest elephant bull, slain by poachers on May 30th 2014. Digital Journal spoke with Akinyi Adongo, the organizer of the event.
Adongo explained that “Satao belonged to an elite group of elephants called Tuskers because his tusks were so big they almost touched the ground.”
As to the need for a day devoted to elephant protection, Adongo went onto explain “Tuskers and elephants are facing imminent extinction in 15 years unless we act. We hope that this day will create more awareness on the plight of Tusker elephants.”
This year's inaugural event will take place at Seven Restaurant in Village Market, Nairobi. The campaign is focused on the slogan “Annual Drinking Holiday”. To mark this ,a suitably branded beer will be promoted. Tusker is also the name of one of Africa's most well-known beer brands. In terms of fundraising, for every Tusker Beer sold during the event, 50 Kenya shillings will be donated towards conservation of Tusker elephants in Tsavo.
Raising money is important, given the current situation. As Adongo outlines: “Out of a population of 11,000 elephants in Tsavo, there are less than 20 known Tusker elephants, one less with Satao's demise. Tsavo is the last place on earth with a viable gene pool of Tusker elephants.”
Poaching in some areas in Africa shows no signs of abating. According to the World Wildlife Fund: “in countries where wildlife management authorities are chronically under-funded, poaching still appears to be a chronic, significant problem.”
Summing up the mix of beer and conservation, Adongo summarizes: “why not appreciate African elephants, African beer, African people and friends of Africa by celebrating Africa's first annual drinking holiday for a good cause on Tusker Day.”