We get asked all the time what our fascination is with elephants. I mean why get so worked up about an animal that doesn’t even have a natural home on the continent we live on? Why not stand up for starving children, the elderly, war, conflict or famine?
The answer is: We are
Finally, we have evidence that there is a tangible connection between wildlife trafficking and the security of humans…including those who live here in the United States with us. Ivory is funding some of the largest criminal and extremist organizations in the world. So much so, that each and every country now has at least one watchful eye on what’s going on. Ivory is more profitable than raw diamonds so it shouldn’t take long to connect the dots to the inner workings of criminal activity.
Recently, Bryan Christie, an award-winning author and journalist, tracked two tusks to the front door of the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. For those of you who don’t know Joseph Kony he’s worth at least one Google search. One man alone has created an army of more than 60,000 children, all of which he kidnapped; some as young as three years old. He has broadened his reach from Uganda to the Central African Republic, trading ivory directly to the Sudanese government for weapons. Tusks for AK-47’s. Click here to read the article.
Most of the ivory moving north in Kenya seems to be heading straight for Al-Shabab as one of their main funding sources. Al-Shabab is a localized terrorist group, responsible for the mall attack in Nairobi but also known for its close ties to Al-Qaeda a group which the United States has spent trillions defending themselves against. This is just one of the reasons why elephants matter.
So what does The KOTA Foundation do? We educate anyone and everyone about all things African Elephant. We tell stories…true stories…backed with real science. Why? Because we believe that you will fight for something you care about. That is our goal…to teach you more about elephants so that you will want to get involved and help us conserve and protect the remaining elephants of Africa.
We are in the process of creating an education program which will use elephants to teach science studies in both Oregon public and private schools. We are developing a series of lesson plans beginning with Grades 1 through 5. Our aim is to eventually make the lesson plans available nationwide to be downloaded directly from our website at no cost. The goal of the program is: to inspire students to learn several scientific concepts by using elephants; an animal that already fascinates them. Our preliminary work in classrooms is already showing enormous success.
We have been working diligently in partnership with the United States Humane Society to change the law in the State of Oregon. We gathered enough signatures to get Ballot Measure 100 on the November 2016 ballot and finally let the voters of Oregon decide the fate of 12 illegally trafficked animals, including elephants. Debbie Ethell, Executive Director of KOTA speaks on a regular basis working to educate about not only about elephants but about the current law, what’s being done to change, what can be done and how to go about doing this.
We must develop a network of committed, capable partners who can help us reach the most people possible. We are all Keepers of the Ark (KOTA) and we cannot do this alone. We need you. We need your help.
By donating to our organization you are standing with us and we can’t thank you enough!
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about any of these issues.