By: Claire Foran
In Zulu, Thula Thula means peace and tranquility.
It was in the heart of Zululand in 1999 that Lawrence Anthony opened the Thula Thula game reserve. At the time it was a revolutionary example of animal conservation that is still thriving today. Home to over forty animals and a growing conservation fund, Thula Thula is a beacon of hope in the African elephant crisis. This reserve and Anthony’s lifelong dedication to bettering the lives of elephants gave AnimalStone the inspiration and drive to pay homage visually to these species.
As the largest living land animals, Elephants are considered keystone species, meaning if they disappear through extinction or removal, our entire ecosystem would change drastically. They truly are the peacekeepers of the animal kingdom. These magnificent animals are highly intelligent, like us they communicate by touch, sight, smell and sound. Their connection to our earth runs so deep that they actually use the vibrations produced by impacts on the earth’s surface to communicate with each other. They mourn the dead, understand who they are and fiercely protect their families.
So why do we hurt them?
Records of the export of elephant ivory date back to 14th century BCE. The use of elephant as workers, entertainers or the use of their parts for trade, art and ornaments was a common cultural practice that is thankfully but only recently becoming banned in most countries. However, the damage has been done. Over the past 75 years, there has been a 50% decline in the elephant population. Currently, Asian elephants are considered endangered by the IUCN and African elephants are considered vulnerable. Despite the international ban on ivory trade, elephants are still being poached in large numbers and are facing rapid habitat loss due to our ever-growing human population. However it is vital that we continue to conserve and make room for these essential creatures. Like an elephant, it is time we take leadership over this situation and dig deep to the root of problem. Even though we share the same earth, elephants can seem far away - but there is a way to find your connection through embodying them spiritually with an AnimalStone Thula charm.
And just how elephants never forget the ones they loved, never forget that with love, change can happen.
AnimalStone wants to be part of that change, stay tuned for news about how our company is supporting World Animal Protection.