“This may be the last chance we have to save the elephants,” says Kimberly Kay Day, a wildlife advocate who lives in Munster and is author of The Journey of Timbo: The Indomitable Elephant, which she wrote as a way to raise money for organizations actively working to protect wildlife.
Setting a goal of reaching one million people, Day says that part of the proceeds will go to those organizations trying to save the elephants.
Sending copies of her book out to many who are involved in wildlife preservation, Day received an email from Virginia McKenna, who with her husband Bill Travers, founded the Born Free Foundation and starred in the movie, Born Free. Their son, Will Travers OBE, is currently the charity’s president.
“This is an unusual book,” McKenna writes. “It combines acknowledgments to people who have, in different ways, contributed to the fragile survival of elephants, and alerted the world to their plight. And then the author draws us into the potential tragedy of their disappearance from the wild, through her own anguish at what is happening to this most extraordinary and inspirational of creatures.”
McKenna describes the book as a story for young and old.
“The tale of Timbo and Balbazar, the elephant spirit, leads us back to an ancient past and on to safety from an uncertain present,” continues McKenna in her email. “If the ivory gleam one day disappears from Africa, it will be a tragedy of unimaginable magnitude. Kimberley Kay Day understands that well and tries, through this brave little tale to make sure that we understand it too. The only creature that should carry ivory is the elephant.”
Day’s book is a collage of poems and essays she’s written in order to create awareness about the future of both the Asian and African Elephants. Included are photos and her short children’s story about Timbo, who at the time of his death at age 48, was the largest and oldest African bull elephant in the U.S. Besides McKenna and the Born Free Foundation, the book also honors Daphne Sheldrick of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya and actress Tippi Hedren of the Shambala Preserve. Also lauded is the Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF), a joint initiative created by the Wildlife Conservation Network and Save the Elephants which recently received a $1 million grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The grant provides funds for on-the-ground global anti-poaching, anti-trafficking and ivory demand reduction actions.
“Elephant poaching is a brutal crisis, with more than 30,000 elephants killed last year alone,” said Le
onardo DiCaprio in making the donation. “The decimation of these animals is something we have the power to stop, and the Elephant Crisis Fund is a crucial part of the solution. I am honored to support them and recognize Dr. Douglas-Hamilton for his lifelong commitment to protecting this species.”
An internet marketer besides author of several books, Day was born in Madisonville, Kentucky before moving to Gary in the 1960s when her father worked at U.S. Steel. She graduated from Morton High School.
“I’ve always loved elephants,” says Day, who received The International Poetry Society Award in Washington, DC., noting that she wants to make a difference in the world. “I get emotional thinking about how little time we have to save them.”
Her book is available through such online book sellers as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.