“Indlovu” means “Elephant” in Zulu. As elephants have a strong family structure, they want to capture the importance of this bond in the name of their fund so they choose the word “Izindlovu” which means “Elephants”.
Izindlovu Fund vzw is non-profit organisation, founded by Ben Van Hool and Helen Van Hulle in Belgium for the benefit of conserving the African Elephant.
By 2040 wild elephants won’t exist if poaching and human-wildlife conflict continues as it is today. But the orphans being left behind can change this if they are supported by all of us. The stronger we help them become, the more chance they have of defying the odds of their species to become the elephants of tomorrow.
All over Africa, elephants are threatened by poaching or habitat destruction. As the mother elephant is often killed in these conflicts, the baby elephant can not survive on its own.
When a rescued orphan elephant comes into the orphanage, it is traumatised and in many cases dehydrated, sunburnt and possibly injured. Because of their high intelligence and complexity, they are very different to your usual wild animal. Their needs are diverse and nuanced and require a special kind of management, one with heart and soul and respect as well as milk and medicine.
Therefore a baby elephant orphanage is of great importance for the future elephants to survive.
Despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers. The WWF estimate that around 20,000 African elephants are being killed each year for their ivory – that’s an average of 55 a day.
The ban allowed some populations to recover, especially where elephants were adequately protected due to the hard work and efforts of the anti-poaching campaign. But there has been an upsurge in poaching and illegal ivory trafficking in recent years, driven by increasing demand in Asia. This has led to steep declines in forest elephant numbers and some savannah elephant populations. Less than a quarter of elephants actually live in protected areas.
It’s very difficult to get exact numbers on elephant population figures. There were around 1.3 million African elephants alive in 1980. In 2012, there were only an estimated 420,000 to 690,000 elephants left and according to the African Elephant Status Report from 2016, 415,000 African elephants left in the wild.
As local communities are growing fast all over Africa, we need to understand and engage local people to save the elephants habitat.
Obviously, it is not only about teaching people how important elephants and other animals are for the environment. It involves a broader combination of efforts, such as agricultural and health support. Protecting elephants is also about assisting local communities that are confronted with them. These communities live off the harvest on the fields that were previously the habitat of the elephants. for example, investing in fencing or providing other solutions for this and thus restoring the balance of living together.
By providing communities solutions and engaging them in new projects, we can slowly make them understand and support our perspective.
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