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The elephant, both powerful and vulnerable, is a poignant metaphor for all nature and unless new elephant frontiers can be found for this majestic creature, through the re-wilding of vast areas in Africa, the elephant will undoubtedly disappear from the landscape within 20-30 years from now.
This is what brought Andries Botha and John Charter together to form the Human Elephant Foundation(HEF) in 2009. The Trusts first step was to create a number of life size elephants to be placed strategically at various points of the globe to create awareness for the need for elephant conservation, however the time is now at hand to be far more involved in the process of actively checking and rectifying the elephant problem.
As Ian Player, the great South African conservationist and mutual friend of John Charter and Andries Botha recognized, the elephant was the harbinger of human migration out of Africa to Europe. The elephants formed elephant paths and were natural water diviners. The HEF now intends acting as a receptacle for all funding connected with elephant conservation and the proper distribution of allocated funds. The organization has Section 18 A status and can therefore make tax relief available.
As a first step in this new approach, HEF, together with the Charles James Lilliehall Trust has made their first investment into an elephant conservation project near Vryheid in Kwazulu-Natal.
With the initial acquisition of a 1000ha farm, the HEF has launched a fund raising campaign to acquire other farms in the region, which will form a 36,000-hectare game reserve and in doing so, provide a secure home for the circa 45 elephants currently free roaming the landscape, and which have an execution order over them , due to their roaming proximity to the local rural villages and communities.
Once the Loziba Wildlife Reserve(www.loziba.com) project is complete HEF intends extending its footprint throughout Africa and truly be closely aligned with the rewilding of vast landscapes Africa.