“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
“A recent 2013 estimate valued the illegal poaching trade in Africa as being worth $17 billion dolla1rs a year and growing...”
In July 2013, more than 300 elephants were poisoned (along with other wildlife including lion and hyenas) in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park – when their watering hole was laced with cyanide. “1 adult elephant tusk can be worth more than 10 times the average annual income in many African countries.”
- International Conservation Caucus “
According to gun policy officials, the average cost for a riffle in Kenya is around $100 – a fortune by local economic standards. However, a single tusk can be worth up to $240. In China, a tusk can sell for over $2,000 – once the tusk leaves Africa, the costs increases substantially.” - Independent.co.uk
Bow hunting has become popular because it’s much quieter than guns, but it is a slower and extremely painful death. In the early 1800s it is estimated there were 27 million African elephants roaming the wild.
By the turn of the 20th Century, that number was reduced to only a few million African elephants. Also in the early 1900s there were roughly 100,000 Asian elephants.
In 2014 there are approximately 300,000 African elephants remaining and less than 35,000 Asian elephants left in the wild.
It is estimated that 1 elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its tusks – this poaching rate is outpacing the reproductive rates and elephants could become extinct in certain regions of the wild within the next decade. The killing of elephants fragments families and when older elephants are killed, deep social and emotional issues arise with the younger elephants- they can’t learn the fabric of how to be an elephant. Elephant behaviors are not instinctive, but learned from others.
It is estimated that China is the #1 market for ivory, and the United States stands as #2, although ivory trafficking in Thailand is dramatically increasing. A recent study cited by The Times found that less than a third of Chinese people surveyed knew that elephants are killed for their tusks.
“The Obama administration destroyed the U.S. reserve of elephant tusks on November 5, 2013 – announcing that the pulverizing of 6 tons (5.4 tonnes) of ‘blood ivory’ would send out the right message to the world.” - Independent.co.uk Terrorism
“Ivory and rhino horn are gaining popularity as a source of income for some of Africa’s most notorious armed groups, including Somalia’s al-Shabab, the Lord's Resistance Army (L.R.A.), and Darfur's Janjaweed. Illegal wildlife products are a substantial lifeline to African-based terrorism.” - International Conservation Caucus
Human-elephant conflict & Loss of Habitat Elephants are roamers and their range often travels outside of protected areas. With the rapid growth of human populations rural land and forests, once roamed freely by elephants, are being razed and run by farms for agriculture businesses. This increases elephant-human conflict. Today elephants have less and less space to roam. Another reason for elephant-human conflict: the farms grow crops the elephants like to eat - and elephants frequently raid the crops, which can cost them their lives. Luckily bees can be used as a means to keep elephants away from crops. .
Dedicated to elephant well-being & ending the ivory trade world-wide!