HOORAY! I finished another piece! And I’m not talking about the exuberant firefly above, she is a little thank you present I whipped up for my summer zoo camp boss. I threw her in to counter the mood of my new drawing, Oh Bother.
Aw, it’s Eeyore! Except as an Elephant! Eeyorelephant! But what’s he doing with that wire? Why did he sever his own trunk, and why are his legs so stitched up?
This was about the most digestible way I thought I could illustrate the horrific phenomenon of elephants triggering poacher snares. The wire snares dig into their legs (here’s a mildly graphic pic of an elephant with scarred legs from africamatters.org), and often in the animal’s attempts to remove the snare they can cut into or even sever their trunks. It’s horrible business.
I became aware of it by watching a clever elephant successfully removing a snare in the following video:
Apparently it’s not always maiming and death for them, as they are remarkably intelligent.
If you’re hungry for more poacher snare art, apparently if you head to the airport in Zambia you can scoop up jewelry made from gathered snares. It’s the idea of a co-op called Community Markets for Conservation, who encourage locals to trade snares and firearms for training in a variety of skills to improve their lives. You can read more here at Newswise.com.