Saving Mali's Migrating Desert Elephants
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids|March 2020
Eco-guardians spread the word to the Tuareg villagers, “The elephants are coming.”
Colette Weil Parrinello

Many villagers already know. They will stay out of the thick bushes and trees so they don’t surprise the elephants. Villagers believe that when the elephants come, the land and life are healthy. The elephants are baraka—a blessing to the people and environment of Mali’s Gourma region.

Once there were many thousands of Gourma Desert elephants, but now, there are fewer than 400. The elephants live under constant threat from droughts, militant violence, poachers who want their tusks, loss of water from expanding herds and farms, and encroaching human settlement. Through the dedicated efforts of the Mali people and many worldwide organizations, the elephants have a fighting chance to survive.

The Elephants’ Extraordinary Journey

Every year for hundreds of years, the elephants walk a 350-mile circular migration route in northern Mali, moving around back and forth within the route. This is the longest, most treacherous trek of an elephant in the world. These tough animals brave sandstorms, water shortages, and extreme heat of more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

They inhabit a 12,400-square-mile range across the harsh land south of the Sahara Desert in the Gourma region. Following a counterclockwise route, the elephants spend their time in the dry season in the north of the range, moving between lakes and rivers as each dries out. In June when the rains start, they move southwards to the border Mali shares with the country of Burkina Faso because the food supply is better. But there are no lakes or surface water, so when the rains stop and the water dries out, they continue back north.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FACES - THE MAGAZINE OF PEOPLE, PLACES AND CULTURES FOR KIDSView All

THE LEGEND OF THE QUETZAL BIRD

A Mayan Tale retold by Pat Betteley illustrated by Amanda Shepherd

4 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

Semana Santa GUATEMALA'S HOLY WEEK

What if Easter preparations meant dyeing sand, collecting pine needles, and staying up all night to work on an art project that you knew would be ruined the very next day? Well, welcome to Guatemala’s Semana Santa, or Holy Week.

4 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

ME OH-MAYA!

The Maya are groups of people who live in parts of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. Their ancestors created a great society. At its peak, from 600-900 C.E., the Maya civilization was more advanced than its neighbors in the Americas.

3 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

Playing Games Honduras-style

Would you play the same games in Honduras that you do in the United States? You might. Children in Honduras enjoy many of the same games North Americans do. They go fishing and shoot baskets. They play sandlot baseball—called bate (BAH tay). They fly kites and ride bikes. Their parents may go horseback riding or play golf or tennis.

3 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

LIVING A LONG LIFE IN THE Blue Zone

Most people would like to live as long a life as possible. No one really knows why some people live longer than others, but did you know that where you live can play a big part in how many years you’ll be alive? If you live in a Blue Zone, chances are that you will live much longer than people in other parts of the world.

2 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

ATTENTION WORLD: Belize Saves Their Coral Reef

Sea turtles float in clear waters, colorful corals hug the ocean floor, and aquatic animals glide among the mangrove roots. Welcome to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, the second-largest coral reef in the world (Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is number one). Several years ago, this reef was in crisis, heading toward destruction. But the people of Belize fought back to save their reef’s health.

3 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a 51-mile long canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

2 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

This is Central America!

It’s time to visit Central America. But first, it helps to know exactly where Central America is. Despite its name, it is the southernmost part of North America, which can seem a little confusing. It makes up most of the isthmus dividing the Pacific Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. An isthmus is a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and has water on both sides.

4 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

Animal Central

From golden frogs to big cats to colorful birds, the national animals of Central America represent the geography and cultures of the region. For a quick sampling of creatures plain and beautiful, common and rare, read on.

3 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021

31 Countries Biosphere

The Trifinio Fraternidad Biosphere Reserve is located at a spot where El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras converge. A biosphere is the layer of planet Earth where life exists.

2 mins read
Faces - The Magazine of People, Places and Cultures for Kids
January 2021
RELATED STORIES

CHER BEGS FRAIL MOM TO MOVE IN!

She’s terrified of living without feisty 94-year-old

2 mins read
Globe
April 19, 2021

B&B: FINN PROPOSES TO STEFFY

Hot on the heels of the revelation that Finn, not Liam, is the father of Steffy’s baby, the good doctor has a very important question to ask the woman he loves. “When he was racing to Malibu to stop Steffy from leaving, Finn made one stop to pick up a precious heirloom,” winks his portrayer, Tanner Novlan. “In this moment, after he tells Steffy that he’s the father, Finn makes the most of it.”

1 min read
Soap Opera Digest
March 29, 2021

JULIA'S TRIAL SEPARATION

Leaving hubby after endless bickering and he’s delighted

2 mins read
Globe
March 15, 2021

Dakota & Chris: MALIBU WEDDING!

THE PERFECT SPOT! CHR IS MARTIN AND DAKOTA JOHNSON FINALLY MOVE IN TOGETHER — AND GETTO WORK PLANNING AN INTIMATE CEREMONY ON THE GROUNDS OF THEIR $12.5 MILLION MANSION.

2 mins read
Star
February 15, 2021

MICHELLE: CLEAN UP, YOUR ACT BARACK!

Her $175M divorce ultimatum!

3 mins read
National Enquirer
February 22, 2021

Malina Moye Means Business

RIGHTEOUS TOURING TIPS FROM A LIFELONG ROAD WARRIOR

6 mins read
Guitar World
February 2021

Reclaimed

This 1972 Chevelle Malibu is Finally Out of Storage!

2 mins read
Hot Rod
December 2020

The Seed of the Universe

Move over quinoa. There’s a “new” ancient grain in town—fonio, a hearty, gluten-free species from West Africa introduced to America by Yolélé Foods.

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
October 2020

MICHELLE'S MARRIAGE HITTING THE ROCKS!

Confesses she felt like tossing Barack ‘OUT THE WINDOW!’

4 mins read
Globe
September 28, 2020

As Trump Holds Back, Tech Firms Step In On Election Security

Adam Schiff was in the audience at the 2018 Aspen Security Forum when a Microsoft executive mentioned an attempted hacking of three politicians up for reelection. It was the first that Schiff, then the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, had ever heard of it.

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
September 25,2020