Target: Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya
Goal: Remembering Satao, a beloved wild elephant killed for his massive tusks, strengthen partnerships with other world leaders to protect elephants from illegal poaching
Tsavo East National Park in Kenya has suffered a devastating loss. Satao, a male elephant known for having tusks that reached the ground, was recently killed by poachers. The killers only took his tusks, mutilating his face so badly that authorities had to identify him by looking at his ears and patterns of mud caked on his body according to CNN. His death is evidence of the illegal wildlife trade which claims the lives of many elephants, tigers, rhinos, pangolins and other creatures every year.
Satao was extremely popular visitors. However his life was in jeopardy when he entered areas in the national park known for poaching activity. Because of lack of funding the park is chronically understaffed. His tusks, which were known to reach the ground, were extremely iconic and could be seen even from the air. Satao was killed with poisoned arrows at age 45. His death is a national tragedy.
The wildlife trade is one of the most profitable illegal trades, alongside drug and human trafficking. Disturbingly the illegal wildlife trade is often linked with the drug trade, and the same amount of coordination is used to kill these beasts as to transport and smuggle illegal drugs.
Many countries are destroying their own stockpiles of ivory to send a message to poachers that the practice will not be tolerated. Despite support to end this trade, resources are stretched thin and poachers are still able to kill animals for profit. In memory of Satao, urge the President of Kenya to strengthen partnerships with other world leaders to end the illegal wildlife trade.
Dear President Kenyatta,
I am writing to offer my condolences on the loss of a natural treasure. Satao, a behemoth of an elephant who lived in Tsavo East National Park, was recently killed by poachers with poisoned arrows. He was slaughtered for his tusks–so large that they reached the ground and could be seen from the air, making Satao an icon. His death is the unfortunate byproduct of the illegal ivory trade which continues to threaten those elephants that still remain.
Despite efforts by Kenya and other nations to eliminate demand and crack down on poachers, nations such as China and Vietnam continue to demand ivory and other items that require the slaughter of wild animals. I urge you to keep Satao’s memory alive, and to partner with other world leaders to prevent future tragedies such as this.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sokwanele via Flickr