They’re majestic creatures of every child’s imagination, the largest animal on land, beautiful giants that slowly traverse the lands of Africa and Asia. They mourn the deaths of their companions, are extremely intelligent, and of course, have great memories because after all, they are elephants. So why is such a beautiful, intelligent animal being slaughtered to the brink of extinction? The answer is found in the elephant’s tusks, the ivory that has become white gold.
The illegal ivory trade has skyrocketed in recent years leading to the mass murder of tens of thousands of elephants every year. This murder has been fueled by increased demand in China but even the United States is a close second. Thousands of innocent elephants are brutally murdered just to be mutilated for their tusks to be turned into jewelry, carvings, and piano keys. Really, we’re going to kill one of the greatest animals on Earth for a bunch of trinkets?
There are signs that the tide may be changing as more awareness spreads and governments take action against these crimes. Just this week, China, the biggest player in the illegal ivory trade, actually publicly destroyed six tons of ivory to discourage the illegal trade! That’s a huge step against poaching in a country where market demand for ivory has fueled the criminal act of elephant poaching.
With such a great step forward in the country at the center of the poaching problem, could the fight to save elephants be a winning battle? Only time will tell but right now the fight must continue if we want elephants around in the future.
Check out this new video infographic below on elephants released by WildAid to become more informed about this species and how they are threatened by the illegal ivory trade. The organization’s message to the world is: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”
WildAid’s mission is to use public awareness campaigns to end illegal wildlife trade. They work alongside celebrities and media partners to create “culturally-sensitive” campaigns that reach over a billon people a week! They campaign to stop illegal wildlife trade of: sharks, tigers, rhinos, mantas, marines protections, and of course elephants. Learn more about WildAid’s programs by visiting their site here.