Cape Town - In a recent update on rhino poaching stats for 2017 in July, the department of environmental affairs confirmed 30 elephants were poached in Kruger National Park alone.
"Elephant poaching increase in KNP is of great concern. In Africa it is decreasing but it is increasing in SA," says the DEA.
While the world's CITES foundation agrees globally poaching and illegal trade in ivory is decreasing - the reality remains that by 2030 Africa’s elephants could be extinct.
In 2016 it was estimated that only 350 000 existed, which includes both savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) and forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) - with the species seeing a dramatic 97% decline in a century.
SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: The Elephants' 97% decline in less than a century
With wildlife being at the core of South Africa's natural heritage and a major attraction when it comes to international tourist visits to the country - more awareness needs to be raised beyond just the annual #WorldElephantDay commemoration.
SEE: When an elephant says: Enough is enough
Adding its weight behind the issue, Amarula is launching limited edition bottles without the iconic African Elephant - in addition to its digital conservation project #NameThemSaveThem.
The #DontLetThemDisappear campaign is hoping to drive the conversation message across SA, the USA, Canada, Germany and Brazil.
Seen as an iconic local brand associated with these gentle giants who feed on the Amarula fruit of which the liqueur is made, it will also be launching a massive activation in New York on World Elephant Day 12 August to land the message that Africa's elephants are disappearing.
It will see the building a life size African elephant sculpture out of ice – which will melt in the summer heat of the city. Set to take place at Union Square the special event symbolizes the disappearance of these gentle giants and the urgent need for us all to get involved.
2. If you've never been on a Safari - make a decision to experience this South African heritage trip - seeing the elephants in their natural habitat and choose to support conservation efforts through domestic tourism.
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3. Find a conservation organisation you believe in and commit your support through time or money - such as WildAid or WWF South Africa.
Engage in the Amarula digital project by designing and naming an elephant - it costs you nothing and is a great platform to share and spread awareness. Also for every elephant shared socially, Amarula will donate $1 to help WildlifeDIRECT to help stop poaching.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- WATCH: Just another day in Kruger... Elephant shows wild dogs and cops who's boss
- SA rhino horn online auction ads indirectly targeting known hotbeds for illegal trade stokes DEA concern
- #LoveSA: Kruger Park visitors help identify 12 new emerging elephant Tuskers