We want our runners to know how important their participation in Running Wild is, and to understand the impact to the organizations we support. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust USA have been beneficiaries of the Running Wild Race since its inception. We have great respect for the work they do to help orphaned elephants in Kenya. Learn more about them in this helpful infographic, including how you can foster one of the baby elephants in their care. And don’t forget to register for this year’s race! Continue reading
When Big Life Foundation (Big Life) co-founder photographer Nick Brandt, visited the Amboseli elephants in July 2010, it was unlike any of his prior trips.
He had been photographing these elephants since 2002 and knew many of them on a first-name basis, but something was different from his previous visits. Elephants who had once walked by his vehicle without a care in the world would not come within half a mile of him; in fact, they would run panicked in the opposite direction. Gunshots were later reported in the area from which they came. Nick reported his experience to local authorities, but nothing was done. The existing wildlife services and NGOs in Kenya simply did not have enough resources to enforce anti-poaching laws in such a widespread area. Continue reading
Running Wild race beneficiary Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) started their extremely successful Livestock Guardian Dog program 25 years ago to help mitigate human/wildlife conflict. Among CCF’s most notable work is their program that trains dogs to help to protect livestock from predators such as cheetah in Namibia. Continue reading
“Here, let me show you an example,” our Maasai guide, Konee, said, as he pulled off the dusty, red road in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem. On our game drive, we were discussing a concept I had just finished reading about in book entitled, Regenerative Development and Design. This book suggests that mutual benefit plays a more important role in the evolutionary process than has often been recognized1Mang Pamela A. and Ben Haggard, Regenerative Development and Design: A Framework for Evolving Sustainability, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2016), 11-13.
. Like most people, I had heard far more about the role of competition in evolution (i.e., the well-known “survival of the fittest”), so I was eager to hear Konee’s thoughts on mutually beneficial relationships because, as a Maasai, he had spent most of life in close proximity with nature.
Konee pointed toward a thorny acacia tree as he brought the Land Rover to a stop. We exited the vehicle and moved in to closely examine the tree. He told us that this particular variety was known as a “Whistling Thorn” acacia tree. The name was derived from the symbiotic relationship between the swollen, hollow thorns produced by the tree and the “cocktail” ants who puncture holes in the thorns in order to use them as a home. As the wind blows through the pierced, hollow thorns, a whistling sound is produced, and, hence, the name.2This summary was derived from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “Vachellia drepanolobium,” (accessed February 18, 2019), https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vachellia_drepanolobium.