Elephants are among the world’s most intelligent, sensitive animals and possess both empathy and self‐awareness. They live in close family groups that are now being torn apart by a new wave of poaching that has swept across Africa due to a growing demand for ivory. More than 33,000 African elephants are killed each year.
Save the Elephants (STE)—led by renowned elephant expert Dr. Iain Douglas‐Hamilton—serves as a long‐term protector of elephants and as their voice and advocate on an international stage. As the poaching crisis has taken hold, STE has led the charge to save Africa’s elephants both in Kenya—where they are based—and across the world.
Elephant Crisis Fund
Save the Elephants has partnered with WCN to launch the Elephant Crisis Fund. The elephant poaching crisis is now too large for any one organization or government to solve and requires a coalition that can tackle poaching, ivory trafficking and ivory demand. The role of the ECF is to quickly fund the most innovative and effective projects in these three areas across the coalition. From fuel for a small plane to provide aerial surveillance over a national park in Kenya to anti‐ivory campaigns featuring celebrities in China, the Elephant Crisis Fund identifies and supports the most critical initiatives that can save elephants.
Save the Elephants
Save the Elephants continues to do critical work on the ground in Kenya and around the world to save elephants. The organization's groundbreaking research closely follows the elephants that live in STE's northern Kenya study area and provides crucial details on what land and resources elephants need to thrive. Save the Elephants reduces conflict between humans and elephants and provides outreach around the world on elephants' behalf.
“Our research which records the births and deaths of all elephants is a particularly sensitive barometer and alerted the world to what is happening with poaching. We reached a tipping point in 2009 where deaths outnumbered births.”
- Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton
A Unique Conservation Approach
Save the Elephants closely studies elephants in order to understand their complex behavior and protect them. Information about elephant behavior is used in education and conservation messaging. STE pioneered GPS tracking collars of elephants and now have collars on over 100 elephants to capture data on elephant movements. This information is crucial to understanding which areas elephants use most, and thus where protection efforts must focus.
The STE anti-poaching team works closely with Kenya Wildlife Service and other teams to protect elephants in STE’s core northern Kenya area of operations. The new Save the Great Tuskers initiative extends STE’s work into Tsavo and aims to prevent the loss of the last of the iconic bull elephants. STE gathers and maintains an extensive database of elephant mortality information that serves as the scientific basis for anti-poaching advocacy efforts.
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton has become a voice for elephants internationally and has testified in front of the US Congress about poaching. Save the Elephants is tackling demand in China by creating outreach campaigns with high-profile Chinese stars such as basketball player Yao Ming and actress Li Bingbing. STE is also a key contributor to international conferences that determine global policy on the ivory trade and poaching.
Elephants tracked by STE across Africa. Tracking protects these elephants and plans for their survival.
students are currently being sponsored through school or university by STE donors
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s groundbreaking study of elephant behavior in Tanzania in the 1960’s paved the way for elephant research and conservation today. Intrigued by their intelligence, protection became Iain’s passion. In chronicling the sharp decline of elephant populations in the 1980’s, he was the first to alert the world to the poaching crisis and helped bring about the world ivory trade ban.
Iain is respected as one of the world’s principal authorities on the African elephant. He and his wife Oria have co-authored two award-winning books, Among the Elephants and Battle for the Elephants, and have made numerous films to make the world aware of elephants’ intelligence. Iain himself is an award winner, having received the Indianapolis Prize, one of conservation’s highest lifetime honors, the Order of the Golden Ark conservation award from the Netherlands, and the Order of the British Empire.
How You Can Help
Anti-poaching in Samburu
$1,000 can help provide volunteer scouts with paramilitary training and technical equipment to expand STE’s anti‐poaching unit.
$3,000 will purchase an elephant monitoring collar, allowing STE to remotely monitor and protect individual elephants across Kenya.
A donation of any amount can help build the capacity of a Mobile Education Unit, which shows conservation films in remote areas of northern Kenya.
When you designate your donation to a specific species, 100% of your donation will go directly to the field to support this species.
It began with a prayer; a collective plea for safety and good luck. A group of conservationists from Save the Elephants (STE) readied themselves to tranquilize a 12,000-lb. elephant from a helicopter. It’s a tense experience requiring focus, teamwork, and cool heads. Once the elephant was darted and unconscious, the team—highly experienced, but still full of adrenaline—raced to the sleeping giant, slipped a large monitoring collar around her neck, then slowly revived her (while quickly getting out of her way).