Because of Botswana’s hunting ban and anti-poaching efforts, the country is home to more elephants than any other African nation. In addition to native herds, elephants from neighboring countries seek refuge there daily. But with more elephants in the area, conflicts with humans are only increasing. Loss of crops and livestock, plus the risks to their own lives, make wild animals a nuisance at the very least.
Most conservation efforts focus on wildlife, not local communities. Elephant Havens is different. Through habitat protection and community outreach projects, we are working to find practical, affordable, and effective ways for people and wildlife to share the environment with fewer conflicts. By tracking the number of conflicts and confrontations that occur each quarter, we can measure our progress and the effectiveness of different programs and approaches.
With an increasing human population and its impact on wild habitats and environments, elephants are steadily losing ground. For now, Botswana is still a relatively untouched wilderness. By setting aside natural land as a wildlife refuge, we are working to preserve the habitat that elephants need to survive as a species. We are also educating the villagers on ways to share their habitats in ways that benefit both them and the elephants.
Mismanagement and misunderstandings are the cause of much wildlife loss. Through community awareness programs, we are reaching out to farmers and villagers to help them understand the long-term benefits of conservation. We are also working with them to find solutions to their specific elephant conflicts with the goal of sharing their habitat in harmony.
Local volunteers are being trained to spread the word about our orphanage and collect information about conflicts and confrontations. They also report abandoned or orphaned elephants so that we can rescue them and, hopefully, save their lives.
By educating children and local youths about conservation we hope to instill in them a sense of responsibility for the wildlife around them.