My Presentation: Have You Joined the Herd?

"We have the power to stop the ivory trade. When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

I did a presentation for kids and the title was #JoinTheHerd. I asked the children, “What do you think a HERD is?” They told me that if there is a herd of elephants or rhinos, that means there are many of them. My opinion is that people who fight for elephants and rhinos are all also a part of the herd; there are many of them when they march and scream STOP KILLING. In that moment, it is one thing they all agree on. And I am also a member of the herd.

I told the kids if poaching continues at current rates, elephants and rhinos could be extinct in the wild within our lifetime. They were all surprised and wanted me to explain it. I looked at them and said: “Close your eyes. Imagine you are 80 years old and you are in museum with your grandchildren. You are looking at one showpiece really sadly. It is a rhino standing next to a dinosaur. Your grandchildren ask you, When did the rhinos live? And you answers 80 years ago. They look at you again and ask, Why are all the rhinos gone? You answer... Because we killed them for medicine and jewelry.” This is written in our future. THIS will happen if we don´t stop ivory and horns trading.

I talked about the feelings we humans share with elephants and rhinos. We all feel COMPASSION, STRESS, GRIEF, LOVE and JOY. The children and I talked about it for a while. I asked them when they were stressed, for example. They answered today, they had a test. I smiled and showed them a picture with a rhino talking to psychologist by D. Lire: “You bet I’m stressed. I can’t stop imagining there's a poacher hiding behind every bush…” But that is really happening! Animals in wild nature are stressed because of people who don't belong to their natural areas, especially poachers. How are the animals supposed to live in peace when they are always in a poachers sight?

Then I talked about one man called Arthur. He is helping elephants in Africa. He and his team look for ivory with trained dogs, they breed bees as a protection for planted food of natives from Africa and they support other projects and create their own. They do all of this for protecting elephants.

Another part of my presentation was full of pictures about How would elephants and rhinos protect themselves but why they can´t. There was a rhino holding a chainsaw and there was a poacher without his nose. This picture explains what poachers do to rhinos. They are destroying a part of their nose. If they could, elephants and rhinos would fight against poachers. They´d practice judo to protect themselves. But they can't protect each other. This is our fight and our turn now. Don't forget that human nails are so much similar to rhino horns and elephants ivory.

We always read in the news, there is hope. But is something happening? I used a photo with a circus elephant showing an orca in a tank a newspaper with the title, “There is a hope” because circuses are starting to end elephant acts. Yes, there is a HOPE. But we need to do something or elephants will stay in the circus and orca will stay in the tank.

Maybe you are wondering if there is a way we can help. YES, we CAN! Speak about problems in the world and nature. Think globally, act locally!!! This is our fight now!

And I am a member of the HERD. Are you?

By Youth Volunteer Terezka

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