Over the last two years or more Born Free and its supporters, the conservation movement, in fact, the world at large, has become increasingly alarmed by the unfolding  of a wildlife tragedy – the decimation of iconic species fuelled by the trade in their body parts.

As many as 50,000 elephants, more than  1,000 rhino lost in 2013 alone.  Half of Africa’s lions gone in the last three decades.  Just 3,200 tigers clinging to survival.

What could we do?

Fight back!

Piece by piece a picture emerged portraying in detail the challenges we need to overcome. Improved wildlife law enforcement; ending consumer demand; increased public education; better intelligence gathering; effective judicial training; the introduction of deterrent sentencing…….. each on their own not enough to tackle the problem but together a comprehensive agenda designed to turn the tide.

And the game-changer?

The realisation that illegal wildlife trade, like any other serious organised criminal activity, destroys people’s lives, disrupts communities, increases instability and, linked as it is with the terror-driven activities of rebel militias as Al-Shabaab and the Lord’s Resistance Army, has the potential to hurt and damage us all.

That is why, although I am entirely convinced that the world’s leaders do care about the future of species,  it has become a political priority and why the UK government, led by the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister, convened the High Level Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade on 13th February and the results of that Conference – real political will, international co-ordination, increased resources, the destruction of a number of ivory stockpiles, a zero-tolerance approach to illegal trade and the contemplation that hitherto legal trade should be halted when the risk to the species are so great, lead me to believe that a line has been drawn  – so far and no further.

Delegates to that Conference have nailed their colours to the mast.  Now we must make sure they deliver on their promises.  Every step we take from now on must incrementally make the world safer and more secure for wildlife under threat, for habitats under pressure and for communities that live on the edge.

Born Free is and has been at the forefront of this fight for more than a quarter of a century. We will be here leading the fight into the future and I hope that each every one of you, our loyal supporters, will be with us as we play our part in securing a future for wildlife – and for people – worth living.

Blogging off,



  1. Gill Gilbey Says:

    Dear Wil,I think its a great shame that the meeting was held in secret and that members of the public were not allowed to attend to “bear witness”.What did China and Vietnam have to say? When should we expect to see the sale of ivory disappearing from Shanghai?When will we actually see these terrorist poachers in Kenya apprehended?When can we expect to see the horrific number of elephant deaths decreasing?Talk is one thing,action another.

  2. lynne chitty Says:

    i have written a song for Marius if you think it is good enough would like to get it set to music and someone to sing it to build on momentum of his tragic death is it something you could use? keep doing all the brill work ad here’s to the animals x

    A Song for Marius
    For 18 months they cared for me I made them smile and laugh Their number one attraction a beautiful giraffe
    Then came the day when all that changed as I watched the rising sun instead of bringing water they brought a loaded gun
    Remember me I’m Marius and this is my last song tell the world how I was killed and tell them it was wrong
    I was surplus to requirements so they shot me in the head and still the crowds were watching as I lay before them dead
    Then they cut me up in public, Cameras honed in on the knife They fed me to the lions Such a brutal end to life
    Remember me I’m Marius and this is my last song tell the world how I was killed and tell them it was wrong
    They didn’t have to butcher me They could have let me go Offers of another home came in but they said No
    Don’t ever let them silence you Until every creature’s free You couldn’t save my life but you can save my friends for me.
    Remember me I’m Marius and this is my last song tell the world how I was killed and tell them it was wrong

  3. Pam Says:

    Well done for all your hard work – especially over the past week. Let’s hope measures and monitoring are put in place to make sure commitments are followed through.

  4. Gill Gilbey Says:

    I was appalled at the killing of Marius.He was offered sanctuary over here which would have broadened the “gene pool”, not that it was a valid excuse for murdering him.This “playing God”in zoos should not be allowed to happen.I would also like to know if any progress has been made on the plight of TWIGGY,I felt the worst aspect is her isolation.

  5. Derek Rankine Says:

    Great to see that world leaders are finally taking the illegal wildlife trade seriously, pity they didn’t listen to Born Free and similar organisations sooner to avoid the current situation being so critical to so many species.
    More investment is needed in the affected countries as unfortunately the Chinese now have a stranglehold on so many African economies that their political will influences government decisions.
    Lets hope the tide is now going to turn in favour of the precious wildlife.

  6. William Fey Says:

    keep up with the good work i support you on Facebook keep :]