Name an African elephant and save it

Amarula’s Name Them, Save Them campaign fights elephant poaching and gets society to understand these mystical creatures.

There are two subspecies of African elephants—the Savanna (or bush) elephant and the Forest elephant. Savanna elephants are larger than forest elephants, and their tusks curve outwards. In addition to being smaller, forest elephants are darker and their tusks are straighter and point downward.
There are two subspecies of African elephants—the Savanna (or bush) elephant and the Forest elephant. Savanna elephants are larger than forest elephants, and their tusks curve outwards. In addition to being smaller, forest elephants are darker and their tusks are straighter and point downward. (Image: Amarula)

Ray Maota

There are less than 400 000 African Elephants left in the wild and one is lost every 15 minutes to ivory poaching. Should this carry on, the majestic creatures will be extinct by 2030.

This will not happen without a fight. Amarula, a cream liqueur from South African beverage producers Distell Group Limited, is working closely with Kenyan-based conservation organisation WildlifeDirect to protect Africa’s elephants with their Name Them, Save Them campaign.

Losing an elephant a personal loss

The campaign will allow viewers to actively participate in preserving the African elephant by casting a spotlight on ivory poaching. On the campaign website, users will be guided through a virtual savannah where they can choose an elephant, design it with a range of colourful patterns, then name and share it with friends online.

This makes the prospect of losing an African elephant personal to users.

According to WildlifeDirect CEO, Paula Kahumbu, the campaign will show people how similar elephants are to humans.“Just like humans, each elephant is an individual with a unique personality. We share many similarities with elephants. They are intelligent, emotional and have a strong sense of family – just like us.”

Amarula will donate US$1 to WildlifeDirect for every elephant named and shared per unique user.

Kahumbu said: “The world needs to know that the only way to get ivory is to kill an elephant. Once you know them by name, you would never dream of hurting them.”

She appears in an extraordinary video shot in front of Mount Kilimanjaro in Amboseli Park, Kenya, and introduces viewers to elephants by name, showcasing their behaviour in their natural habitat and likening their traits to those of humans.

The short film, shot by Felix Seuffert from Butterfly Films, has been specifically crafted to raise awareness of the plight of the African elephant, whilst building the bond between man and elephant.

Kahumbu, who is internationally acknowledged for her conservation work, said: “The African elephant is an integral part of our African heritage and culture…This campaign is about creating a connection between us and elephants and becoming actively involved in raising awareness and saving our elephants.

“By getting to know elephants by name, we want people to realise that they are more important than an ivory trinket. They say an elephant never forgets, but now they need us to remember them.”

Amarula’s conservation efforts

In addition to funding this global campaign, Amarula has been committed to protecting the African elephant since 2002 and has donated $642 000 (R9.4-million) to the cause over this period.

The partnership with WildlifeDirect is expected to add impetus to Amarula’s conservation efforts.

Dino D’Araujo, Amarula Global general manager, said the partnership with WildlifeDirect will help them continue to protect the continent’s elephants. “Our objective is simple – to make sure that for generations to come, we continue to meet the elephants beneath the Marula trees.”