Five Saracens players have taken their Premiership trophy on a climb of Mount Kenya to raise thousands of pounds for an elephant conservation charity backed by the Evening Standard.
Mike Ellery, 26, Rhys Gill, 29, Jim Hamilton, 33, Nils Mordt, 32, and Ben Ransom, 24, set off on the 50km hike on Tuesday, playing matches en route.On Saturday they are due to reach the 5,199m summit of Africa’s second-highest mountain.
The teammates are carrying the Aviva Rugby Premiership cup, won in Saracens’ final against Exeter Chiefs last month.
Rugby players led by Namibian captain and rugby legend, Jacques Burger, are heading to Kenya for a charity challenge aiming for the summit of Mt Kenya.
The rugby players, including Mike Ellery, Rhys Gill, Jim Hamilton, Nils Mordt and Ben Ransom, will aim to hike 50km over four days. The will ascend 2,285,m to 4,985m, coping with the high altitude and carrying all their equipment, before finally at the summit they will play the first game of rugby at the peak to raise money for the protection of elephants.
Conservation of threatened iconic species will be aided by the re-opening of Loisaba, a tourist operation in Laikipia County, Kenya
At Loisaba, a 56,000-acre conservancy in central Kenya, they are betting the best ways to save elephants is to fatten cattle.
Set up in the heart of the expansive Laikipia plateau 18 months ago by conservationists and a local rancher, its managers are taking a novel — and longer-term — approach to protecting the world’s largest land mammal in which tackling poaching is only a part of the solution.
“Just say we stop poaching,” says Max Graham, one of Loisaba’s founders and the chief executive of Space for Giants, an elephant protection organisation. “Then you’ve got all these elephants. How are you going to deal with them?”
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has urged an end to Africa’s illegal ivory trade, saying it means death for elephants and death for tourism.
He is hosting a summit of African leaders, business people and scientists in Nanyuki, central Kenya, to discuss how to save elephants from extinction.
Experts warn Africa’s elephants could be extinct within decades.
After the Giants Club summit ends on Saturday, Mr Kenyatta will help set fire to more than 100 tonnes of ivory.
Around 200 diners gathered on Wednesday night for the Giants Dinner, a fundraising event in aid of Africa’s elephants organised by Space for Giants and Saracens Rugby Club.
Hosted by Will Greenwood and attended by rugby legends Phil Vickery, Jacques Burger and Nils Mordt among others, it was the latest event in a long-standing relationship between Space for Giants and the rugby world.
“Rugby for Giants” is a joint venture between Saracens and Space for Giants which mobilises the rugby community to protect elephants from poaching.
The event, sponsored by Prospect 33, concluded with some serious messages about the elephant poaching crisis from Dr Max Graham, CEO of Space for Giants.
The event also featured an auction, with the top prize a conservation safari in Kenya generously donated by Elewana Sky Safari, Loisaba Conservancy and Cheli & Peacock Safaris.
Other Rugby for Giants initiatives this summer include a Round the Island Race with the Saracens Sport Foundation, and Jacques’ Climb for Giants, in which Namibian rugby ace Jacques Burger will lead a four day mountain climb.
Next week, the Giants Club, founded by Space for Giants, is holding its inaugural summit in Kenya, hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta. It will be the largest gathering of African political leaders who, along with financiers, philanthropists, celebrities and conservationists, will address the poaching crisis and lay out unique approaches to protect elephants and the landscapes on which they depend.
Space for Giants would like to thank the following people and companies for their help in making the event a success:
- Our sponsors, Prospect 33
- BI Fine Wine & Spirits Merchant
- BT Sport
- Charlie Ross
- Cheli & Peacock Safaris
- Decorum Vintners
- Elephant Gin
- ESI Media
- Hidden Places Travel
- Ian Ritchie
- Jamie Lucas
- Legend Holidays and Events
- Loisaba Conservancy
- Matt Hampson Foundation
- Ognisko Restaurant
- Sara Waymont
- Will Greenwood
The best way to protect wild animals is for the people who live among them to benefit from conservation. Loisaba Conservancy is an example of this – it is a breathtaking 56,000-acre landscape in northern Kenya’s Laikipia County, which is being managed sustainably to conserve wildlife habitat and benefit local communities.
The President of Kenya is to host a historic gathering of African leaders in April to address the elephant-poaching crisis in the first meeting of the Giants Club, the wildlife-protection initiative backed by The Independent.
It will be followed by the burning of a vast 120 tonne stockpile of ivory, much of it seized by the Kenyan state from poaching gangs, to show the government’s zero tolerance to the illegal wildlife trade. The blaze will be eight times larger than any ivory stockpile previously destroyed before.
Africa’s Leaders will meet a summit hosted by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the elephant-poaching crisis, it has been reported
The historic gathering of the continents most prestigious leaders will be the first of its kind and is scheduled to take place in April, according to The Evening Standard.
The Giants Club, the wildlife protection initiative backed by the publication, will be followed by the burning of a 120-tonne stockpile of ivory, much of it seized by the Kenyan state from poaching gangs, to show the government’s zero tolerance of the illegal wildlife trade.
Kenya’s president is to host a historic gathering of African leaders to address the elephant poaching crisis at the inaugural meeting of the Giants Club — the wildlife protection initiative backed by the Evening Standard.
It will be followed by the burning of a 120-tonne stockpile of ivory, much of it seized by the Kenyan state from poaching gangs, to show the government’s zero tolerance of the illegal wildlife trade.