Arusha march for elephants and rhinos

Arusha protest to coincide with national event

The internationally-celebrated march to save elephants and rhinos is being held in Tanzania ten days after World Animal Day, so that it will coincide with the country's national holiday Nyerere Day on 14 October.

World Animal Day is held elsewhere on 4 October however in a move to recognise the founding father's role in conservation in his 1961 Arusha Manifesto, the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) has rescheduled the Arusha event to take place on Nyerere Day.

The march on World Animal Day (held elsewhere on 4 October to mark the feast of St Francis of Assisi) is designed to promote international awareness of endangered species, and for the second year running elephants and rhinos have been selected as the theme.

The march, taking place in over 100 countries this year, calls for the end to the ivory trade which kills 35,000 elephants and 1,000 rhinos worldwide every year. The crisis has reached such proportions that Africa loses four elephants to poachers every hour, every day, and three rhinos a day. It is estimated that only 300,000 elephants still survive. In the Selous game reserve in Tanzania the number of elephants has fallen from about 55,000 seven or eight years ago to 13,000 today.

China is the main consumer of ivory and Vietnam of rhino horn, and wildlife crime is now estimated to be worth $20 billion a year, some of which is known to be financing terrorist activity and political instability in Africa.