In 20 years, most of us will still be alive.
Which means most of us will be around to witness the extinction of the African elephant.
Killing of elephants for their tusks has reached unsustainable levels. Humans now kill more elephants than are born each year.
George Wittemyera, Joseph M. Northrup, Julian Blanc, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Patrick Omond, and Kenneth P. Burnham conducted a study and presented their findings to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. They extrapolated that in 2011 alone, 40,000 elephants were murdered for their tusks.
They cite an increased demand for ivory in places, including China. A pair of tusks can fetch up to $10,000 American. That’s enticing money for some folks.
Now before you Americans start pointing fingers, there’s plenty of ivory trade here in the US as well. There are loopholes in the law preventing the import of ivory. Call yourself a hunter and the tusks a trophy, and you’re set. The Obama administration has tried to tighten that loophole, but the NRA is fighting it. And there’s lots of smuggling as well. Few smugglers are caught, and the ones that are usually get a slap on the wrist.
Fortunately, there is interest in saving the elephants and rhinos. Countries have banded together to stop the flow of ivory through their country. We’ve all heard of governments destroying piles of confiscated ivory. And some countries have stepped up enforcement of boundaries to preserves.
But it’s not enough.
Which means that soon we will see the largest land animal go by the wayside.
38 thoughts on “The End of the African Elephant”
Reblogged this on delia1979.
Surely this can’t happen. I can kinda understand other animals becoming extinct, back before society new any better and hunted for food. But now?? More has to be done!!
And yet, surely it will happen. Why? Because we kill more than are born, and we’re not doing enough to stop that trend.
We can’t give up on hope. While they are still living and breathing there is hope!
That’s true. But I’m not betting on humans to do anything until it’s too late. Sure, there may be a few left in zoos and refuges, but that’s not living. That’s existing for the amusement of others.
I don’t fully agree with zoos, but again that means that the species are living… people are fighting back, so that’s something. What is needed is a way for someone like me, who wants to help but doesn’t even know how, to help. Then change can come!
There are groups out there trying to save the elephants. Find one and support it. World Wildlife Fund is a good place to start.
There is, but that involves cash and unfortunately I don’t have any spare at the moment.
It’s terrible really. If you were in power and could set any laws or punishments in place, how would you stop it?
Power doesn’t stop this. A change in consciousness does. As long we value money over all else, we will continue to see such destruction. After all, this is about money.
But how can we stop it? What would you do? How can we change the way people value ivory?
How can we educate?
We educate by doing what you already do. We talk and write about what’s happening. And then we lead by example. Indeed, meaningful change is facilitated in that way. Ghandi didn’t lead an army. He influenced others to act as he did.
So sad…. Indonesian elephants are already endangered as well. We had one case recently “Baby Agam”. And, my friends decided to make a petition to be able to influence public and government to do further protection and conservation for those voiceless.
Thanks for sharing, Jen.
If you don’t mind, please sign the petitions in http://www.petitions24/justice_for_baby_agam
Let’s spread this universal love….
I tried to go to the petition and kept getting an error message. I’ll try again later.
OK, I found the info on Agam. He died last month. Apparently he was injured when he fell and despite efforts to help him, there was no means to provide such care for an elephant. . So what’s your petition for?
Actually, the situation in Aceh is a bit political. Farmers kill or keep some elephants hostage on purpose to get reimbursement from the government. Seems that the government do not listen, for years and it was just found through baby Agam case.
They try to make public aware about this. We also sent massive messages to related ministers to take actions – at least to start with making a better regulations on farming that would protect the elephants’ habitat.
That message isn’t getting out, so it’s good you’re educating me on what’s happening there.
I can’t imagine that we might have a day to have no elephant someday……so sad….. 😦
And yet it’s true. In fact, the animals are as good as extinct now. If not for conservation parks, they would all be dead already.
Thank you for this post. Will be Reblogging this.
My heart is aching for this incredibly sensitive beautiful animal/friend.
Sadly, they continue to die despite many of us who feel this way.
These are beautiful animals. It’s heartbreaking that they are being killed for their tusks.
It’s more than what we kill wolves for.
As long as there are ignorant people who think a stupid little piece of jewelry is more important than a living being with emotions and soul, there will continue to be a rush toward extinction for these amazing creatures.For the very life of me, I do not understand this mentality, but as long as there is a demand, there will be a supply. The poachers and the people who buy ivory should all be prosecuted.
There is little will to do so. Besides, most people don’t care about elephants. Get rid of them so there’s more land available to rape of its resources. But one day, it will all be gone. And then, so will we.
we humans are too stupid!
This is what happens with an invasive species with no known predators.
That’s so depressing … when are people going to wake up!?
Not until it hurts them. Then they will.
I hope you are wrong about this.
It’s so sad.
This is so sad