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Elephant Conservationist Visits NMLC

Elephants at Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa. Photo by Kathy Zagzebski

Elephants at Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa. Photo by Kathy Zagzebski

Ivory belongs to elephants. Such is Jim Nyamu‘s conviction and he is so passionate about it that he is walking thousands of miles across Kenya, Nairobi, and now the United States to spread awareness about elephants.

Did you know….

  • Ivory tusks do not fall out of an elephant. Ivory can only be obtained by killing an elephant.
  • 35,000 elephants are being killed each year for their tusks.
  • 2/3 of all African elephants have been slaughtered in the last 30 years for their ivory.
  • At this rate, elephants could be extinct within the next 10 years.

Data courtesy of www.burntheivory.org.

Jim joined by Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in a walk in Kenya earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Elephant Neighbors Center.

Jim joined by Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in a walk in Kenya earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Elephant Neighbors Center.

A research scientist specializing in elephants, Jim Nyamu is the executive director and co-founder of Elephant Neighbors Center in Kenya. He has loved wildlife – and particularly elephants – since he was a young boy and he has been studying them and working hard to protect them for the past 16 years. ENC’s – and Jim’s – vision is to conserve and manage elephants and their home ranges in partnership with local communities and other stakeholders for the present and future generations.

Jim and ENC work to:
  1. Educate youth and get them excited about and involved with elephant research and conservation;
  2. Study elephant populations, threats, natural history and behavior through telemetry and other methods; and
  3. Work collaboratively with local communities to build awareness and develop sustainable alternatives to ivory harvest.
Executive Director Kathy Zagzebski & Jim Nyamu.

Executive Director Kathy Zagzebski & Jim Nyamu.

Today, Jim began his first North America walk – Ivory Belongs to Elephants USA – which is part of a global appeal to people who care about elephants and conservation. The day began with a kickoff event at the IFAW headquarters in Yarmouthport and a walk along 6A to Sandwich. When he stopped for the evening, it was a pleasure to host Jim and colleagues Valerie M and Jen S at the National Marine Life Center for a tour and discussion about helping animals. Jim enjoyed meeting Penny (our diamondback terrapin) and Triton. We found commonalities between elephant conservation and marine animal conservation in talking about threats such as habitat destruction, poaching, and climate change.

Tomorrow, Jim will start up again at the Sagamore bridge and continue his southward journey spreading awareness and excitement about elephant conservation. His goal is to be in Washington DC on October 4. Follow Jim’s walk on Facebook. You can even join him for part of the journey! 

2 Comments

  1. thank you NMLC for your incredible hospitality and support 🙂

  2. Welcome to the USA, Jim. We hope your travels are fulfilling and rewarding. And we appreciate you stopping at the National Marine Life Center.

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