These drawings by school children from Garamba’s conservation clubs have revealed the extent to which horrific poaching attacks on elephants have seeped into the hearts and minds of even children – in this case 11 to 17 year-olds.
Incidents involving poaching attacks by unidentified helicopters are common knowledge in local communities, fueling controversy and speculation about their origin, and inevitably reaching the ears of youngsters too. The suggested solutions from children in conservation clubs range from the practical to the heartwarming. Several have stated that they plan to pursue a career as a park ranger while others argue that traditional leaders should find a way to make Garamba’s elephants invisible to poachers in helicopters.
The three drawings are part of a collection of artworks by pupils who are members of the seven conservation clubs that operate at schools in Dungu and Faradje, the two towns closest to the park. In addition, Garamba hosts overnight conservation visits for children to the park in order for them to experience first-hand the benefits of conservation and the value of their rich, wildlife heritage. Last year the park hosted more than 1,100 students and 55 teachers on visits.
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