Next installment of the A-Z challenge: E is for Elephant Echoes.
While in the dental office, I grabbed their September 2011 issue of National Geographic. Flipping through it revealed disturbing photos of Elephants being poached for their tusks. This continues to be a problem.
Definition of Poacher (n): One who kills or takes wild animals (game or fish) illegally.
That definition isn’t strong enough to describe what was reflected. Seeing the word “game” doesn’t really make me stop and think of a particular animal. Tortured should precursor the word “kill.” In Samburu National Reserve , Northern Kenya, these majestic animals are having their entire faces ripped off and their carcases left to rot in the fields. Is that really necessary to gain the tusks?
Supposedly, Africa is doing what it can to stop the poachers, but there are several and the special forces unit can’t cover every instance. The locals can’t stop the atrocity as the poachers are armed with rifles. Why can’t they tranquillize and crop the tusks? (not saying that practice is acceptable, but killing them?)
The article starts off discussing the “rising demand for ivory.” Just WHO is doing the demanding? Thank you China, for loving the art of IVORY CARVING.
Recently the wealthy are paying a lot of money to acquire antique ivory carvings. However, it doesn’t stop there, new pieces are being created. China is purchasing from Africa ivory stock piles. (just where are they getting their stock- from poachers?) Here are some interesting clips from that article:
“In 2008, when China was allowed to buy ivory from the government stockpiles of four African countries, the nation’s craftsmen got busy working on new designs and supplying the hungry market with a fresh batch of artworks”
“And because of the fresh supply of ivory, there were more products on the market. There is also a new generation of carvers taking up the craft. “
“The 61 tons of ivory imported from Africa is expected to cover the market for nine years but not everybody in China is happy with the ivory boom and animal protection activists are calling for the ivory trade to stop.”
“He Yong, an officer from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), is calling for a complete ivory ban because the demand is encouraging illegal poaching. The number of elephants in Africa has shrunk to 470,000 from 1 million only 20 years ago, he says.”
Where do we even start with that? 61 tons of stock pile? It just fell off the elephants right and left? Only supposed to last 9 years…what then?
I think the first step is, China really should not allow the sale of antique tusk art. Something from the “Qing Dynasty (1644-1911),” should be donated to the museum and on display. Next, new ivory carving should be banned. If poachers continue stock piling for the demand, eventually we’ll only hear echoes of Elephant trumpets in our memories.**click the cool link for various elephant trumpets.