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The End of the African Elephant

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. 

photo from worldwildlife.org

photo from worldwildlife.org

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. 

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About rumpydog

I am a malamute that was rescued by her. I live with June Buggie the cat. I blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com. You can follow me on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE my Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

38 thoughts on “The End of the African Elephant

  1. Reblogged this on delia1979.

    Posted by delia1979 | November 17, 2014, 6:56 AM
  2. 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!!

    Posted by 25castleson25clouds | November 17, 2014, 7:22 AM
  3. It’s terrible really. If you were in power and could set any laws or punishments in place, how would you stop it?

    xxxx

    Posted by hutchagoodlife | November 17, 2014, 7:44 AM
    • 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.

      Posted by rumpydog | November 17, 2014, 7:46 AM
      • But how can we stop it? What would you do? How can we change the way people value ivory?

        How can we educate?

        xxxx

        Posted by hutchagoodlife | November 17, 2014, 7:48 AM
      • 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.

        Posted by rumpydog | November 17, 2014, 7:51 AM
  4. 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….

    Posted by rike jokanan | November 17, 2014, 7:46 AM
    • I tried to go to the petition and kept getting an error message. I’ll try again later.

      Posted by rumpydog | November 17, 2014, 2:40 PM
    • 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?

      Posted by rumpydog | November 17, 2014, 2:47 PM
      • 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.

        Posted by rike jokanan | November 17, 2014, 4:08 PM
      • That message isn’t getting out, so it’s good you’re educating me on what’s happening there.

        Posted by rumpydog | November 17, 2014, 6:36 PM
  5. I can’t imagine that we might have a day to have no elephant someday……so sad….. 😦

    Posted by eripanwkevin | November 17, 2014, 8:39 AM
  6. Thank you for this post. Will be Reblogging this.

    Posted by DailyJuniorDogBlog | November 17, 2014, 9:10 AM
  7. My heart is aching for this incredibly sensitive beautiful animal/friend.

    Posted by The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap | November 17, 2014, 9:36 AM
  8. These are beautiful animals. It’s heartbreaking that they are being killed for their tusks.

    Posted by Hi folks. It's BJ Pup | November 17, 2014, 11:20 AM
  9. 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.

    Posted by Gay Johnson | November 17, 2014, 12:00 PM
    • 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.

      Posted by rumpydog | November 17, 2014, 2:52 PM
  10. deplorable….

    Posted by Mother Hen | November 17, 2014, 12:59 PM
  11. we humans are too stupid!

    Posted by willowdot21 | November 17, 2014, 4:59 PM
  12. That’s so depressing … when are people going to wake up!?

    Posted by 30fatsingle | November 17, 2014, 6:17 PM
  13. I hope you are wrong about this.

    Posted by Karen Wan | November 18, 2014, 9:30 PM
  14. too sad!

    Posted by Fergus Gold Post | November 19, 2014, 10:33 AM
  15. It’s so sad.

    Posted by Clowie | November 20, 2014, 4:24 AM
  16. This is so sad

    Posted by dogdaz | November 21, 2014, 6:28 PM

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