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Musical Giant Comes Out in Support of UK Paper's Space For Giants Campaign

Written by Chief Editor.

Elton has written an article for The Independent, in which he discusses his new mission.


While the philanthropist has spent a good deal of time in Africa in order to examine his AIDS foundation's vital work, he has also found himself falling in love with ''the natural splendour which helps make the continent so very special.''

Elton continues:

''I regularly visit to wallow in the beauty of the landscape and to witness the animals that live there in their natural habitat. My favourite spot is in the shadow of the Drakensberg Mountains in Southern Africa, which I try to visit most years. That spot is how I can only imagine a Garden of Eden would be.

''In the winter months you can see elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards and all the other great African fauna set against the dry, golden-brown winter bush. In the summer, the  lush green foliage also brings with it migrant birds and  the wonder of newborn animals.

''There is little as magical as waiting in the bush as dawn rises and seeing the landscape take shape as the newly rising sun illuminates the day and reveals the elephant grazing, impalas bouncing between the trees and – when fortunate – a lion or other big cat gearing itself up for the hunt.
''What I witnessed there and in other parts of Africa helped inspire me when I was asked to contribute songs to The Lion King. I wanted to try to capture the majesty of the African scenery and the animals that live within it so that people could feel what I do when I witness it first-hand, and therefore appreciate its emotional impact too.

''This is why I am so shocked to understand how these wild animals, particularly elephants, are once again being depleted in such numbers by poachers, and why I am so delighted to give my support to The Independent’s campaign with Space for Giants to raise awareness of this issue and provide funds to try to help combat it.

''The figures are indeed shocking. It is believed some 100 elephants a day are now being slaughtered in Africa to feed the demand for ivory. Those responsible are often in hock to criminal gangs, which as well as poaching are involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling.

''Already this year more than 40 tonnes of tusks have been confiscated while being smuggled internationally, with China the top destination for the illegal trade.

''I am fortunate enough to be the father of two young boys, Zachary and Elijah, who are aged two and 11 months. One of the aspects of their upbringing I have been particularly looking forward to is introducing them to Africa and its wildlife so they will hopefully grow to love it as much as I do.

''With the wildlife crime epidemic having become so severe, I now realise it is possible that I may never be able to. Already it is likely that many of the animals being most actively hunted will no longer be living truly in the wild but limited to protected, highly managed populations in a limited number of wildlife sanctuaries.''

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