British television and BBC 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell OBE has written and composed a new song to highlight the fight against the world’s ivory trade and raise funds for Kenya’s David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT).
Performed by Logan Wilson and Kit Morgan, ‘Sacred Eyes’ was inspired by the orphaned baby elephants at the DSWT’s Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, who have lost their mothers due to human actions. Its release was timed to coincide with the Trust’s 40th anniversary during which time the wildlife charity has saved and returned over 200 animals to the wild.
The moving video which was produced by the DSWT to accompany the track features beautiful and emotive footage of the elephants in the Trust’s care.
“35 thousand African elephants are being slaughtered every year and having their faces hacked off for trinkets and toothpicks. Elephant families are being massacred and mutilated to make carvings of – elephant families. When I see an ivory carving, however old, however ornate, I don’t see anything beautiful. I see an orphan trying to wake up her dead mother as the vultures circle round. Take that one to the Antiques Roadshow.
“The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is a wonderful place. It’s an important symbol of the fight for their survival and a cradle of hope amidst the pitiless brutality. Watch the wondrous video and you get an idea of the beauty and otherworldly qualities of these extraordinary beings. Just look into those “Sacred Eyes’. This year marks the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s 40th anniversary and over that time more than 200 animals have been given another chance and returned to the wild. It’s an astounding collective achievement but never has their work been more important.
“I wrote the song Sacred Eyes knowing that Sheldrick could make a powerful and moving video about their work and that is exactly what they’ve done. Logan Wilson sings, Kit Morgan is on guitar and Paul Buck has done a beautiful string arrangement – a musician tweeted me the other day, ‘2.48 is to die for!’
“Why does this matter so much? Elephants are beautiful, beguiling and extraordinarily intelligent beings. The sight of a family grieving for a loved one while taking turns to gently touch the body with their trunks is one of the most affecting sights in nature. You don’t realise how wonderful and amazing this world is sometimes. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
“To borrow the language of reality TV – it’s quite a ‘journey’ – ten years from rescue back to the wild. Some don’t make it and seem to die of grief screaming till they can scream no more but the happy endings are life affirming. Imagine the feeling at the nursery when years later an orphan returned to give birth at her former home and when another came back to proudly show her human family her wild born baby. They really do never forget. Stories like this are humbling and do rather challenge the notion that we are in anyway special.
“There is no nobler mission than to strive to save a fellow species from extinction – extinction all because of our ignorance and greed. These giants need room, they need respect and they need all our protection. The Sheldrick Orphanage is so special. Lets make sure our grandchildren know of elephants in the wild because a world without them is unthinkable. Please share the video.” – Nicky Campbell OBE
Fellow presenter Sara Cox, who recently visited Kenya for Comic Relief, Tweeted her support for the track, saying: “Why wouldn’t you want to help baby elephants cruelly orphaned? Have a watch, download the song, help elephants.”
Sacred Eyes is available now to buy from all good digital retailers or download via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon with with 100% of proceeds benefiting the DSWT’s work in the protection of elephants.