Conservationist, elephant expert and TV presenter, Saba Douglas-Hamilton is coming to the Apex, in Bury St Edmunds, to share remarkable tales from her childhood, highlights from her decade as a BBC wildlife presenter, and stories from her work with some of the most endangered wildlife on the planet.
When describing her childhood growing up among elephants in the Great Rift Valley, Saba explains: “I grew up in East Africa. My father is a zoologist and when I was born, he was researching elephants in Tanzania. It was the first-ever study of the social behaviour of wild African elephants, and his big discovery was that elephant herds are led by matriarchs and not by bulls, as had previously been thought.
“The 1970s, when I was a child, was a terrible period in Africa where elephants were concerned: the ivory trade was spiralling out of control and elephant populations were disappearing. So, my parents carried out the first pan-African elephant census to get hard data on the table. My father’s work showed that in some areas up to 90 per cent of the elephant population had been lost, and eventually it was the data that led to an international ban on ivory trade. My father’s work means I’ve always felt intimately connected to elephants, and to their fate.”
A compelling and knowledgeable presenter on the BBC’s hugely successful “Big Cat Diaries” and “This Wild Life”, Saba has also produced, directed and presented a wide variety of programmes for the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.
Her show on September 13 will take you on a wild journey from Kenya and the Congo to Namibia and St Tropez; and from brushes with warring tribes and ivory poachers, to unlikely heroes fighting against the odds to save the African elephant.
Saba’s underlying message emphasizes the role each of us can play in protecting the natural world and these stories of courage, hope, compassion and humour cannot fail to inspire us all.