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African Elephant male

African Elephant male

A male African Elephant watches the WLT group in Luangwa National Park.

On a recent visit to Gemfields ethical emerald mine, World Land Trust (WLT) CEO John Burton was joined by Bill Oddie, conservationist and long-term supporter of the WLT, Bruce Pearson, WLT trustee and wildlife artist, Simon Barnes, WLT council member and environmental journalist for The Times newspaper, and David Bebber, leading photographer from The Times.  “The trip was an opportunity for the team to visit the mine and to do due diligence over how we operate”, said Anna Haber, head of PR and Marketing at Gemfields, “It was also a chance for WLT to see how we can possibly work together in Zambia moving forward.” The team also took the opportunity to visit nearby Luangwa national park, renowned as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world.  They saw an impressive number of species, including a family of lions with a cub that strolled past their car, and an array of bird species, including a Giant kingfisher, Sacred ibis, and African spoonbill.  Of particular interest was seeing an African elephant in musth – a time when the temporal glands of adult male elephant becomes swollen and excrete a strong-smelling liquid that is rich in testosterone, making them notably more aggressive.  It is hoped that a new WLT initiative, working in collaboration with Gemfields, will help protect more of Zambia’s habitat for its impressive wildlife.

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