Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

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On 3rd October we marched. We marched for the lives of every single elephant and rhino on our planet, brutally murdered for their tusks and horns. We marched for all the orphaned baby eles and rhinos, traumatised, heartbroken and defenceless having watched their mothers’ faces hacked off. We marched for the families of these beautiful creatures, torn apart by human greed.
On Saturday we marched with the world, we spoke for the voiceless and took a stand to stop the ivory trade forever.

Mum and I joined the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos in London. London was just one of 136 cities marching, from all 4 corners of the world, over 3rd and 4th October. We all took to the streets to march as one voice.

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Chants called during the march

The atmosphere was absolutely incredible. Every single person there had a passion and commitment to protect two of the world’s most iconic species. When we arrived in Cavendish Square, there were already around 1,000 people, waving placards, dressed in elephant/rhino t-shirts and ready to march. In addition 96 people came dressed as elephants. 96 people to represent the 96 elephants killed by poaching EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We marched from Cavendish Square, across Oxford Street, down Regent Street, through Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square, ending outside Downing Street. We all marched as one, making a huge noise! We most definitely picked up a lot of people along the way too. Mum and I were near the front of the pack and when we looked back, all you could see were streams of people, placards and posters. We estimated there were at least around 2,000 marchers, making their way through London’s streets. Whistles, drums and megaphones kept the chants going all the way through London, teamed with beeps of taxi, bus and car horns. The passion was second to none.

Upon arriving at Downing Street, First Counsellor at the Malawi Embassy, Ian Musyani, opened the speeches. He talked about his government’s strengthening efforts to counter poaching and wildlife crime.
His speech was followed by Nicky Campbell’s. Nicky is one of the most enthusiastically and emphatically passionate people I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear speak. His powerful and poignant speech highlighted key facts and issues surrounding the poaching crisis; alongside the need for governments and higher bodies to take action NOW.
Dominic Dyer concluded the speeches in an equally passionate fashion, reading a list of quotes and statements made by celebrities and prolific people unable to attend the march in person on the day, but still wanting to add their voices.

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Nicky Campbell listening to the roar of the crowd

Six people then entered and handed a letter into Downing street demanding a ban on the UK ivory trade.  The letter had more than 100 signatures, including London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, Ricky Gervais and Joanna Lumley; calling on David Cameron to fulfil his 2010 election pledge during this year’s Global March for Elephants and Rhinos.

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Why are we marching and why should you help?
More than 35,000 elephants are killed every year so their tusks can be carved into ivory trinkets. A rhino is slaughtered once every 8 hours for its horn. Their only hope for survival lies in an immediate end to the ivory and rhino horn trade (both “legal” and “illegal”) and the chance to recover from decades of mass slaughter.

The countdown to extinction has begun. We have only 10 years left to save these beautiful creatures… 10 years!! Unless action is taken now, we will lose these majestic, highly intelligent, and emotionally sentient creatures FOREVER.

We CAN and WILL win this fight.

Here are a small selection of photos I took whilst marching:

You can also click here to find some of the professional photos.

Additionally, watch and experience what the march was like in the video below:

If you would like to get involved yourself in future demos/marches, or just to keep up to date with how the UK are saving elephants, please join the March for Elephants UK Facebook group.

– Lucinda

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