Published on September 21, 2014 by Emily Duval  

Samford University’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences recently had the privilege of hosting African Wildlife Trust   (AWT) founder Pratik Patel who spoke about “Saving Africa’s Giants.”

Patel, founder and chairman of The African Wildlife Trust (AWT), is a third generation Tanzanian who grew up in the ecotourism business. He visited Samford as part of a U.S. tour to educate on the concept of “blood ivory” and promote a deeper understanding of the wildlife trafficking epidemic.

During the presentation Patel spoke about the disappearing elephant population as a global issue. The trafficking of wildlife is the fourth largest illegal trade in the world. Patel spoke about initiatives that the AWT is taking to save elephants. Along with raising awareness, the organization is pushing for a ban on ivory and closely monitors the elephant population.  

Patel encouraged students to take a stand for “Africa’s Giants,” stressing that they are the future of wildlife conservation. He addressed the important role that social media plays in raising awareness as a global issue and insisted that anyone can get involved.  

AWT was first founded to help stop poaching of elephants in Africa, but has grown to address wildlife conservation issues. Patel even consults for President Barack Obama on global conservation.  

Emily Duval is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.