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CEO note

CEO NOTE: 20 November 2020

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Big elephant bulls are magnificent beasts – my favourite encounter while on foot. They are also running out of space, as two of our stories below will attest to.

After having been harassed and moved from reserve to reserve, Riff Raff the large ‘problem-causing’ elephant bull has been shot and killed. He RAN OUT OF SPACE, and his various human caretakers ran out of patience. This is a tragic story that is set to repeat itself in South Africa where many fenced reserves are home to maturing elephant bulls that will try to do what they are hard-coded to do – find new pastures and spread their genes.

Our third story below is a huge reality check. We are witnessing IN OUR TIME the systemic collapse of eco-system components due to climate change, and the impact on the many species that live in those ecosystems will be severe. Elephants are the subject matter of this important research, but what about the myriad of other species that also depend on forest fruit?

OK, that’s the two bad news stories out of the way. To counter the negative space we all live in right now, why not download some African BUSH SOUNDSCAPES and allow peace and calmness to wash over you? Here is a sample soundscape and here is the shop to buy your own. A portion of the proceeds goes to Conservation South Luangwa and Elephants Alive.

Our natural history story this week is about chacma baboons – those TOUGH-AS-TEAK fellow primates that are the subject of many an amusing tale in Africa where they flourish in all spaces – wild and human-infested.

Finally, we present the second gallery by our reigning Photographer of the Year. Jens Cullmann’s images make me FEEL ALIVE, and I hope that you too enjoy his work. And remember that our 2021 Photographer of the Year starts on 1 January – stand by for more announcements. The prizes will be exceptional …

Story 1
PROBLEM: The ‘problem-causing’ elephant known as Riff Raff has been shot and killed by provincial authorities in South Africa

Story 2
CHACMA: The baboon is one of the largest monkeys in the world, with human-like cunning and 4cm canines that rival those of leopards

Story 3
REALITY CHECK: Forest elephants are losing body condition – most probably due to climate impacts on forest tree fruit production – say researchers

Story 4
OUTSTANDING: This fantastic gallery by Photographer of the Year 2020 winner Jens Cullmann will have you itching to enter for 2021. Stand by for entry details

CEO note



Simon Espley – CEO, Africa Geographic

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