Having just finished a snow leopard painting I always get a thrill out of any stories or sightings of these beautiful and elusive big cats. Anu is a female that biologists have been tracking in Mongolia since first catching sight of her in camera traps as a cub. To the joy of all who know of her and the dedicated people of the Snow Leopard Trust she has been filmed by hidden cameras with no less than three beautiful healthy cubs.
I wonder where elephants would be without people like Derek and Beverley Joubert. These award winning filmmakers photographers and conservationists bring to our world understanding of the magnificence of the African bush in their 30 years of living in the Africa. What a life they have lead and in the process teaching us all about the wonders and diversity of Africa's wonderful wildlife and the urgent need to protect it.
Finally the big wigs in the ivory trade are being targeted. The news that a major trafficker, a Chinese woman who has been under surveillance by authorities for the past year has been arrested in Tanzania is so encouraging and wonderful news for elephants. It isn't until some of the real heavyweights in the illicit ivory trade are brought down that the situation will change. Arresting the poor and local people who kill elephants for their ivory won't make any difference to the situation because the ones driving it are still free to carry on, business as usual. That we are hearing of high profile arrests is just the best news possible and gives those of us who truly care about elephants and all wildlife, hope that there is in fact hope. For so long the stories of what is happening has been so grim that I for one have almost come to accept that elephants will disappear from the world in my lifetime. Can it be that there is reason to feel optimistic after all, I certainly hope so.
For the future of elephants I hope the news that both China and America two of the worlds largest consumers have made a serious commitment to ending the trade in ivory. In recent times there have been historic and groundbreaking stockpiles of ivory crushed or destroyed in several countries that signifies change is definitely happening. These giants of the animal world must be protected at all costs. An end to this tragic trade and the suffering of elephants must be stopped before they are lost to our world forever. To my thinking that loss would be too great.