Former Oscar nominee champions elephants

Son Lysander is behind the campaign to save the elephants Credit: Cyril Christo

Cyril Christo is a writer, photographer, filmmaker and animal rights activist residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As part of his campaign which supports International Earth Day celebrated on April 22 this year he wants to bring two important matters to the world’s attention.

Christo and his wife, Marie Wilkinson, have filmed a major documentary on Africa’s elephants entitled Walking Thunder that he hopes to air on Amazon Prime later this year.

Their son, Lysander, who took his first steps and learned to walk in Africa, is also a narrator and one of the key driving forces in the film.

Endorsed by Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall endorsed the film and found it “mesmerising.”

“The drought cycle in Africa used to be every 11 years,” explained former Oscar nominee Christo. “But now climate change is really wreaking havoc with drought happening every few years. Elephants and other indigenous species are being impacted. Their survival is being threatened.”

Christo’s documentary film, years in the making, exposes the horrors of life in the bush. Even though ivory was banned in 1989, Africa has lost over 130,000 elephants, or close to half its population over the last decade.

African Elephants could become extinct

“Something needs to be done immediately or the elephants are doomed. There may only  be about 40,000 rainforest elephants left on the Africa continent. We simply can’t afford to lose them.

“If we lose the elephants, we lose the world” is his watch word.

He is also campaigning about the fact that it seems the Tanzanian government has been actively kicking the Massai off their land and that could bring grave consequences to the checks and balances that have for centuries kept Africa’s eco system stable.

As pastoralists, the Massai must have land to graze their cattle. It’s been their way of life for over 10,000 years. Taking away their land is also taking away their way of life and their livelihood.

Indigenous people threatened

According to the United Nations Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “Indigenous people shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation.”

“Kicking the Massai off their land is not a good way to save the planet,” observed Christo.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page