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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
UN adopts baby African elephant
Bura arriving at the Nairobi National Park nursery
A new baby for the UN Security Council
An African elephant injured by poachers in a Kenyan game reserve has been adopted by the United Nations Security Council.


The Security Council became a parent today

Jeremy Greenstock

As a parting gift, Britain's outgoing president of the Security Council, Jeremy Greenstock, persuaded the 15-member body to adopt the elephant calf, named Burra.

Bura had been discovered earlier this year by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi - after being seriously injured in a poacher's trap from which he had escaped.

He was found with a thick steel cable stuck around his neck, which had bitten deep into the tender flesh around his throat and practically ripped off one of ears.

Weak and abandoned by his herd, the trust said he was emaciated when he was found as he had unable to feed himself.

Parental affection

"The Security Council became a parent today," a smiling Mr Greenstock told reporters.

Bura recovering in the Nairobi National Park
Memo to UN: It's a boy
"It is not just peace and security in Africa, it is also wildlife for which the Security Council is, at least temporarily, showing its concern."

Mr Greenstock, who is also the British ambassador to the UN, said he hoped the elephant would symbolise the long memory of the Security Council for Africa.

"I hope the young elephant will also be a sign of the long memory of the Security Council for things that go both right and wrong in Africa."

E-mail updates

Fostering Burra will not break the bank at the Security Council, costing just $50 per year.

For their money, the council will receive, via email, a fostering certificate with a photograph of Burra.

The will get a monthly update on Burra's progress, and a watercolour painting of the orphans at the trust each month.

But Burra's new "diplomatic" status is unlikely to protect him from poachers if he is returned to the Kenyan wild.

See also:

17 Apr 02 | Africa
07 Mar 98 | Despatches
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