Arthur F. Sniegon is a modest man from Třinec. Yet, with his life story, he changes the fate of elephants and other endangered animals in Africa. He lived in the midst of nature surrounded by animals already in his childhood. However, he only ignited his true passion for the exploration of nature and animals during his travels in the Middle East, Europe and North America.
He worked as a volunteer at the Cochrane Ecological Institute in Canada, taking care of endangered wildlife. He then took a few trips to Africa, which changed his life forever. It was in Africa that he first witnessed the poaching of elephants and the illegal trade in their tusks. For other Central Europeans, it was something that was happening at the other end of the world. For Arthur, however, it became a personal mission for him and he decided to dedicate his life to elephant conservation.
In 2013 Arthur founded the Save-Elephants organization through which he monitors the African wildlife, raises awareness of animal conservation and educates the locals in terms of coexistence with large animals. However, he mainly aims to combat the illegal ivory trade and identify trafficking networks. All these activities are carried out in cooperation with other organizations such as EAGLE and World Wildlife Fund. Arthur has already managed to intercept thousands of contraband shipments, arrest dozens of traffickers of ivory and other wildlife products, and thus locally weaken the poachers' pressure and the sense of impunity.
The decline of the elephant population has been slowing down slightly in recent years, also thanks to Save-Elephants' activities. Nevertheless, elephants and other endangered species are still in danger of extinction. A new project is coming to life under the auspices of the organization; it has the potential to change this situation and become the largest Czech initiative to protect endangered species in Africa to date.
This project aims to take over the Tsoulou Reserve in the South-West Congo which has large natural resources but lacks any kind of administration. This is also why elephants and other endangered animals are poached there, which contributes to overall devastation of the unique wildlife in the region. Save-Elephants is therefore aiming to extend its activities in the region and take over its administration from the Congolese government. This would not only help protect the endangered species, but also make it possible to rehabilitate the wildlife.
At the same time, taking over the administration of the region would make it possible to explore some animal and plant species more closely, bring new job opportunities for local residents and provide opportunities for future ecotourism activities. The intended model of territorial administration is the first Czech initiative of such scale in Africa and can be a major contribution to nature conservation in the region. However, this initiative would not be possible without the support from others who, like Arthur, are not indifferent to the fate of elephants and other endangered species.