Major blood ivory haul seized in Mombasa

this saddens me beyond anything.

ATC News by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome


(Posted 06th June 2014)

Reports began to emerge yesterday morning of a major blood ivory haul found in Mombasa’s Tudor estate and one of the suspects taken into custody, setting the social media alight once again with both congratulations to the Kenyan police and other security organs involved in the raid and the expression of sheer horror that at least 150 elephant had been slaughtered over the growing greed for the so called ‘White Gold’.

During a swiftly organized media briefing were reporters then told that the ivory, 228 tusks and 74 pieces cut to the size to facilitate packing, was in the process of being prepared for shipment, with a range of related materials and documents found on site. A KWS officer suggested that some of the ivory could have come as far as from the Eastern Congo as…

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26 hours of road tripping

Africa far and wide

I have missed travelling so much! With my husbands work pressure and due to political unrest in the central region of Mozambique, we have been constricted to Mafambisse and Beira! So when we made  our first trip up to Malawi over the weekend, I felt like I was a bird being let out of a cage!

Suddenly that excitement of exploring somewhere ‘new’ came flooding back. That feeling when you haven’t seen a good friend for a very long time and on seeing them again, you realise just how much you have missed them! Travel for the Ashtons is back! And a big adventure too.  My family, the 5 remaining guinea pigs, pet tortoise and 4 dogs will be moving to Malawi in 3 weeks time.

We will be camping in our own house for a few months while we wait for our furniture to arrive. And that will only happen once…

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Happy 80th Birthday to Dame Daphne Sheldrick!

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival: Our Blog has MOVED!

In the fall of 2013, the Wildlife Film Festival welcomed Dame Daphne Sheldrick to Jackson Hole to accept our Outstanding Achievement Award. During Dame Daphne’s time in Jackson Hole, she shared incredible experiences, stories, and knowledge, impacting many who attended. You can see Dame Daphne’s keynote speech at the Festival below:

A volunteer at the Festival, Zach Montes later went on to work with the Sheldrick family in Kenya:

“When I approached Dame Daphne Sheldrick to have my copy of Love Life and Elephants signed at last years Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, I never expected that six months later, I’d literally be walking in her footsteps (and the much larger footprints of the elephants that constantly surround her. Thanks to the generosity of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, I was given the once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work with the venerated Sheldrick family in Kenya. For two unforgettable…

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Whats wrong with wearing Lipstick in the bush??

I always wear lipstick, mostly red. Now..I dont leave my lipstick home when I go to the bush. Goes into my little bag and thats it! When I feel the need to put it on, I do. My hair might not have been brushed for the whole week, but I will have lipstick on.  Even if an Impala is going to be a meal for the lioness stalking it, whilst we are watching, I will put lipstick on.  I mean, what is wrong with that? 🙂 I do however, constantly get disgusting looks from other half when I do, as he gets irritated.  Unfortunately that is his problem  I reckon I have to look my best for this big occasion. Our favourite Game Ranger/Guide at our favourite and special Private Game Reserve, always asks me on our regular visit “Did you pack your lipstick?”. Of course I did!..sometimes I give him a little dirty look when he asks the question. I also put lipstick on when we stop for our sundowners. Its a special time of the day. Watching the sun going down in Africa and sipping a Gin&Tonic with a slice of lemon or a glass of Merlot. Just the way I like it. The lips have to be red for this of course as I cant celebrate this wonderful moment, not looking my best.  So next time you come across a woman at a lion kill putting on red lipstick, you know its me. A little wave will be okay. I will then know you have read this. Have a great day


Brood Parasite Hosts
The Arrow-marked Babbler sometimes finds itself foster-parent to a young Levaillant’s Cuckoo, sometimes called a Striped-breasted Cuckoo which it rears together with its own chicks. The Levaillant’s Cuckoo (Clamator levaillantii), a resident breeding species in Africa south of the Sahara is a brood parasite, using the nests of bulbuls and babblers including the Arrow-marked Babbler.

We have currently a brood of Cuckoos being fed and reared by the much smaller Arrow-marked Babblers in our garden.  I feel quite sorry for the Arrow-marks. The Cuckoos are extremely demanding and they want their food.  No excuses.  its lovely though to see them and its very entertaining.  But the NOISE!