“But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.”
Lawrence Anthony, The Elephant Whisperer
Every fifteen minutes a poacher kills an elephant. Unless something is done to stop poaching, elephants could become extinct within twelve years!
The Bloody Trade in Ivory
The largest land mammal on earth, the African elephant, faces constant threat from poachers whose greed has decimated elephant populations despite attempts to control the trade in Ivory.
It is shocking when any animal is killed simply as a result of greed and exploitation. Though among the seemingly infinite cases of animal exploitation and cruelty there can be few more shocking examples of man’s barbarity than the killing of elephants for their tusks.
Elephants are amazing creatures who are highly intelligent, rather like us they form strong emotional family bonds, they mourn their dead and may even mourn humans with whom they have had a close association. One such remarkable case is the story of two herds of South African rogue elephants who travelled for twelve hours through the Zululand bush to attend the funeral of conservationist and author Lawrence Anthony who saved their lives. Just a few years previously these once violent elephants who were considered as pests and destined to be shot were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony who was known as the “elephant whisperer”.
“A good man died suddenly , “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”
“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D.
Read more about Antony and these amazing animals:
Even more astonishing then their grief for their rescuer was the fact that they knew Antony was dead. How did they know he had died?
See also the story in the Daily Mail:
The elephant whisperer: Part 2- the elephants come to tea
As you see by this one example alone and there are many others elephants are amazing creatures, intelligent, self aware, aware of others not only of their own species but other species also.
Researchers writing about elephants speak freely of their loyalty, patience, devotion, courage, and cleverness, as well as their wrath:
Even if these creatures were not possessed of such faculties their lives are important to them, all creatures wish to live. Intelligence, size, whether or not they interact with man or whatever criteria we humans place on animals which elevate their worth are irrelevant. Regardless of such qualities or lack thereof every animal which draws breath has a right to life, and furthermore a life free from abuse and exploitation by humans.
Time for an outright ban of the trade in Ivory
In just one decade as a result of poaching the elephant population in African was reduced to just 600,000 from a population of an estimated £1.3 million in 1979. Today the evil trade continues with shocking news such as the seizure last year of thousands of ivory tusks in Hong Kong and Malaysia:
Statistics of the death toll vary but are always shockingly high. According to the Wildlife Conservation society in 2012 poachers killed 35,000 African elephants for their tusks:
Africa’s savannahs and forests have been turned into graveyards as contrary to what many people believe the bloody ivory trade continues .
Elephants are still being killed in their thousands for no other reason than their tusks in the continuation of the bloody trade in Ivory. Thousands of elephants die as tons and tons of Illegal ivory, including the 24 tonne Malaysian consignment mentioned above, is still being smuggled out of Africa.
Action you can take to save elephants
The greatest threats facing elephants today are poaching, conflict with humans, and habitat loss and degradation. Elephants across Africa and Asia are being poached for their ivory at increasing levels.
Read more and take action:
The World Wildlife Fund
http://worldwildlife.org/species/elephant Be sure to click the How You Can Help Button.
Sign a Petition to stop the bloody ivory trade
Please take the Wildlife Conservation Society’s suggested action to “Tell your members of Congress to support conservation programs that elephants depend on… before it’s too late” if you have not already done so
Read more about SOS Elephants:
World Elephant Day
August 12th was world elephant day. I didn’t know this until it was passed. More promotion for such is necessary if these events are to be effective.Having said this there are many suggestions for actions you can take that are of course helpful at any time and lots of useful information so please check out the link below:
Links to more information
Scientists claim that elephants’ understanding of the need to co-operate shows that they belong in an “elite group” of intelligent, socially complex animals.
Hillary Clinton Joins Fight Against Elephant Poaching
30,000 elephants were killed illegally last year, with their tusks selling for as much as $1000 a pound.
Photo Flickr user Benh LIEU SONG : Elephants Herd Amboseli
Under a creative commons License: