Did you know that 96 elephants are killed in Africa every single day? Over 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching.
I knew that the poaching and killing of elephants for their tusks was a problem however I never fully understood the enormity and magnitude of the issue until I listened to an amazing podcast on NPR’s “Fresh Air” called “GPS Trackers In Elephant Tusks Reveal Ivory Smuggling Route” (8/12/2015). It is a story that kept me at the edge of my seat for the entire hour and led me to read the full story in National Geographic (September 2015) by journalist Bryan Christy called “How Killing Elephants Finances Terror in Africa”. It is a fabulous, eye-opening account on how armed groups help fund operations by smuggling elephant ivory and how Christy developed fake tusks with hidden GPS trackers to track them down.
I love elephants and was fortunate enough to have seen them in the wild in South Africa on a safari (Check out my post: “Into the Wild My First Safari”). They are beautiful, majestic creatures. The thought that they are being killed simply for their tusks is horrible and something that must be stopped. However, it is not as easy as it seems.
This month, the Wildlife Conservation Society has launched a new campaign called 96 Elephants to bring awareness and take a stand on the fact that 96 elephants are killed in Africa every day. Founded in 1895, The Wildlife Conservation Society has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. In 2012, poachers killed approximately 35,000 elephants in Africa for their tusks. 96 elephants are killed in Africa every day for their tusks.
About the Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. As the world’s preeminent science-based conservation organization, WCS works to ensure wildlife is around for future generations. To learn more, visit their website at www.wcs.org
Disclosure: I was contacted by the Wildlife Conservation Society to write about their 96 Elephant Campaign. All viewpoints and opinions are my own. I will only write about issues that I care about deeply on my blog.
Wonderful but difficult to attempt, although that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. There seem to be any number of people willing to do what they shouldn’t, for profit a/o fun, and not just in killing elephants.
Yes it is huge to attempt but the article on NPR had some excellent insight. Basically if China and other big importers stop wanting ivory the need will go down and there won’t be a reason for the smugglers to poach them to fund their warlords. So putting pressure on big importers of ivory like China to ban importing ivory would actually do a lot of good. If you have a chance listen to the npr podcast as it is pretty incredible!
I understand, Nicole, and I hope it works. However, there always seem to be people willing to do this sort of thing (or hacking or whatever) just because they can/because other people think it’s wrong/because they get money or kicks or both from it.
Yes so true Janet. There will always be people out there doing this kind of stuff and all sorts of awful things. I just thought the story was pretty cool. I loved listening to the podcast on how the journalist made fake tusks and tried to trace the smugglers. It was pretty fascinating.
What the wealthy west (and, increasingly, the wealthy east) is doing to African wildlife is crushing. The purchase of poached ivory and the equally abhorrent canned hunting are just nauseating, but to many people, these things are there for the taking. Money talks, unfortunately, and these hunters and poachers either have or want enough money to close their eyes to what they are really doing there. I think the answer lies with consumers, too, but I’m afraid the black markets for these products will never wholly disappear. It’s always good to try, though – thanks for putting it out there.
Thanks Lexi. Yep money talks. I keep thinking of the MN dentist who killed the lion. I don’t know why people do this.
Thank you for all the good information. I don’t want to imagine a world without Elephants.
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading.
I didn’t realise it was such a big number, that is a real eye opener. Education can be a good tool for change but money is everyone’s weakness, the black market trade is so lucrative. It breaks my heart.
Yes I didn’t either until I read
More about it. It is very sad. Don’t want to loose our sacred elephants or any endangered species.
I was living in Tanzania in the 80s when there had been massive uncurbed poaching, which was eventually brought under control, and over a number of years the populations recovered. What we are seeing now is much more ‘high-tech’ and had caused a rapid decline of numbers fuel by a rapidly expanding Chinese economy and people who can afford to buy ivory. It seems education of the Chinese would be a major way forward as the majority of the African countries involved do not have the man-power or technology to counteract the poaching on the scale and speed that it is happening.
Interesting. The podcast I listened to talked a lot about the Chinese demand for ivory and if we could get them to help out in banning it there would not be so much demand for it.
Reblogged this on whatsup Africa and commented:
it wont be long and they will be asking for food hand outs because the tourist income will have moved on. I have no words that can express or say what I would like to.
Thank you for sharing my work. I really appreciate you spreading the word. It is so important.
96 a DAY!!! Jeesh. Who is buying that ivory? Who even wants to buy it these days. Where are the morals? Where is the sanity?
Yes it is crazy. The Chinese buy it and use it for their art. There has been a lot of pressure to get China to stop wanting ivory as that would significantly decrease the demand for ivory and eventually lead to a decrease in price and need for these warlords to poach them.
China. Might have known. Can’t they make a fake ivory?
I bet they could!
Reblogged this on Ayfer Yalincak – Travel, Cooking, Photography, Grandchildren.