LET'S SEE MORE OF THESE

This photo does not show an enormously large male elephant, but this male had the longest tusks of any we saw on our game drive. This young man has a way to go. He can grow as tall as eleven feet and weigh up to 13,000 pounds. It was a thrill to see his magnificent tusks, but also a reminder that mature elephants with 100-pound tusks are becoming rare as hunters and poachers take the elephants with largest tusks out of the gene pool. Today there is a higher incidence of tuskless elephants in Africa compared to earlier years because tuskless elephants survive to reproduce. Having no tusks will save these elephants from poaching but will also greatly diminish their lives. …

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Carol Van Brugen
PRIME TIME TO SUPPORT AFRICA HOPE FUND

Looking for a fun way to help Africa Hope Fund? Amazon’s annual Prime Day sale is coming up!

Prime Day starts at noon on Monday, July 16 and lasts until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 (PST). Technically, that’s a Prime Day-and-a-half, which means extra hours to aid Africa Hope Fund while you shop.

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Carol Van Brugen
WHY DO ZEBRAS HAVE STRIPES?

At first glance, one would think the stripes are meant to help zebras blend into the tall grasses like this lovely example. That’s a good answer, but not the key reason. The stripes help all the zebras blend into what looks like one large animal when they are together in a herd. Predators have a harder time distinguishing one lone zebra and isolating it from the herd.

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Carol Van Brugen
WILD AND FREE, THE LUANGWA RIVER

This is really important.

Through Africa Hope Fund, I've been to the South Luangwa Valley and up and down the South Luangwa River at bush camps and lodges on five different trips. I've even flown over it in a small plane. The South Luangwa National Park is nearly two and a half million acres of grasslands, riverine and riparian woodlands, rivers, lagoons, and semi-aquatic grasslands a little larger than Yellowstone National Park in the United States, and the river is a major source of its water.

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SOME GIVE THEIR LIVES TO PROTECT AFRICA’S WILDLIFE

Africa Hope Fund helps supports people who put their lives at risk to protect Africa’s wildlife, especially elephants whose numbers are still perilously low. Your contributions go directly to organizations like Conservation South Luangwa (http://cslzambia.org/) where Rachel McCobb and the scouts in her organization risk their lives when they investigate poaching activity in the Zambian bush.

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John Gardiner
DAD’S WATCHING

This little cub has a mother, father, and older brother. Africa Hope Fund helps support the Zambia Carnivore Program which tracks carnivores in three locations in Zambia. The knowledge they gain from radio-tracking collars, months spent in the bush, and air patrols from the plane they share with Conservation South Luangwa helps protect all carnivores in the South Luangwa Valley.

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John Gardiner
WE NEVER GET TIRED OF HIPPOS

We never seem to get tired of snapping photos of hippos, even though they are dangerous and tend to be cranky. This is actually a bird photo because the bird on the hippo’s head is one of my favorites. It’s a hammerkop stork. He always looks like he’s being blown by the wind and it’s messing up his hair.

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John Gardiner
VIEW THE SUNSETS OF A LIFETIME

Africa Hope Fund Board members Leslie Leggio and Steve Kuhn want you to see the spectacular Zambian sunsets along the South Luangwa River. You’ll hate to leave when you’ve been served delicious appetizers and the beverage of your choice while watching the sun set.

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Carol Van Brugen
HELPING OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH

Craig Zytkow, CEO of Conservation Lake Tanganyika made it his life’s work to protect the remaining 32 elephants in Lake Kasaba, all that are left from the region’s past abundance. Over the years, poaching to support Asia’s demand for ivory reduced the elephant herd to only 32 elephants.

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Carol Van Brugen
MORE A PARADE OF ELEPHANTS

Our guide said he’d never seen this before. A parade of 40-50 elephants walking two to three abreast in a long line. Males and females, calves and babies, aunts, cousins, including magnficient mature elephants with huge tusks.

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Carol Van Brugen
JOBS IN MFUWE

People who come to Mfuwe and can’t find jobs often try to live by farming a few acres of cotton, peanuts (ground nuts), corn (maize), and tobacco. But they depend on rain, and have little access to fertilizer or others soil amendments. They also risk losing their crops to raiding elephants. People who subsistence farming must raise enough to feed their families and trade for other products like clothing and cooking oil.

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Carol Van Brugen
HOW ARE ZAMBIAN STUDENTS DIFFERENT FROM U.S. KIDS?

At home, our students don’t usually enter reading contests like this. Take a look at this little guy in a reading competition with eight other schools in the area, a first for Uyoba School. Just a year earlier, Africa Hope Fund provided a new reading program with books for each student. Their test scores jumped that year.

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Carol Van Brugen
HOW TO HIDE AN ELEPHANT

It doesn’t seem possible that a thirteen foot tall mammal weighing more than 15,000 pounds can sneak up on a person. But look how this elephant’s color blends in with branches and woods. And how this herd coming through the woods and preparing to cross the South Luangwa River blends in so well, it’s nearly impossible to count them.

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Carol Van Brugen
ELEPHANTS AND PEANUTS

Yesterday I bought some salted peanuts in the shell. Today while I was waiting for water t boil for my tea, I grabbed a couple of peanuts, and a memory flashed past. I was very small and probably at a zoo, and feeding a solitary elephant a peanut as she reached her trunk over the metal fence

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Carol Van Brugen
ELEPHANTS: A NATURAL SIGHT

Taken towards the end of the day, this photo of   a lagoon in the South Luangwa National Park is the very essence of the life elephants should lead. During the wet season, the lagoon is full of water, fish, and birds are abundant, herbivores like puku and impala are plentiful, and the elephants enjoy the luxury of spraying themselves with water.

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Carol Van Brugen
WE CAN DO THIS

Before I traveled to Zambia in 2011, I had no idea how close elephants are to extinction. I never thought about how many elephants died so their tusks could become ornaments and trophies. I didn’t understand that they have been hunted for their ivory for centuries.

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Carol Van Brugen
WHY ZAMBIA?

People ask Carol Van Bruggen and me, “Why Zambia? Why not do good work at home?" Our answer is that we do both and so do our board members/directors. Sharing our abundance with others doesn’t have borders.

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Carol Van Brugen
THE HISTORY OF IVORY

The word elephant comes from the Greek language for ivory. Elephants were hunted for their ivory before Egyptian King Tutankhamun, in power during the middle of the 12th century, was buried in a casket with 45,000 pieces of inlaid ivory. 

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Carol Van Brugen