Stephanie Vergniault is the Founder and Executive Director of SOS Elephants. Stephanie is a French lawyer who specializes in elections and governance. She became passionate about her work overseas and traveled worldwide doing mission work in places like Nicaragua, Venezuela, RDC, Burundi, Ethiopia, Gabon, and Chad. She first came to Chad to work with the government on electoral assistance, but during her travels she began to see the dire situation of the nation’s elephants. In 2009 Stephanie decided to take action and created the NGO SOS Elephants, whose mission is dedicated to the preservation of elephants and their habitats throughout various regions by employing methods in research, education, conservation and counter poaching disciplines.
Stephanie now Lives in Chad and is working closely with local communities teaching elephant conservation tactics. Stephanie has been educating local farmers on how to protect their crops from elephants. She has also been working tirelessly in the field with anti-poaching task forces trying to get an idea of how desperate the situation is. One of the newest projects Stephanie has undertaken is building an elephant orphanage for the baby elephants who are orphaned after their mothers are poached for their ivory.
Stephanie’s and SOS Elephant’s long term goal is to conserve the elephants of Chad by working with local farmers, local communities and anti poaching task forces in hopes that the species can be saved for future generations to come.
A nation of tragedies: the unseen elephant wars of Chad
Jeremy Hance – mongabay.com
May 12, 2010
Chad’s few remaining elephants are “survivors of a ‘holocaust’”.
Stephanie Vergniault, head of SOS Elephants in Chad, says she has seen more beheaded corpses of elephants in her life than living animals.
In the central African nation, against the backdrop of a vast human tragedy—poverty, hunger, violence, and hundreds of thousands of refugees—elephants are quietly vanishing at an astounding rate. One-by-one they fall to well-organized, well-funded, and heavily-armed poaching militias. Soon Stephanie Vergniault believes there may be no elephants left.
A lawyer, screenwriter, and conservationist, Vergniault is a true Renaissance-woman. She first came to Chad to work with the government on electoral assistance, but in 2009 after seeing the dire situation of the nation’s elephants she created SOS Elephants, an organization determined to save these animals from local extinction. As a writer Vergniault is also working on a screenplay related to the ivory trade in Chad and elsewhere in Africa.