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Impact: Ivory

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Today I told you about a growing crisis on the African continent. I’m not talking about drugs or disease, but the disappearance of the largest land mammal on the planet: the African Elephant.

Elephants are being poached —- or illegally hunted —- for their ivory tusks, which can go for big money on the black market. And growing demand around the world is causing a steep decline in the elephant population.

As it stands, an estimated 436,000 elephants are alive today. That’s down from the nearly 26 million that used to roam the African Continent hundreds of years ago. And if the ivory trade isn’t curbed soon, experts estimate the African Elephant will be extinct in just ten years.

Because of the conservation crisis, the international community and the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, banned the sale of new ivory in 1989. However, exceptions to the ban exist: antique ivory—ivory at least 100 years old—is still legal to trade in certain parts of the world, and ivory in the form of a hunting trophy is legal to own with the proper permits.

Despite these measures to limit the trade,  illegal ivory sales are at an all-time high. And reports from the United Nations and other independent organizations have linked ivory to the funding of terrorist militant groups, like Al Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, and the Lorde’s Resistance Army. These organized criminals will traffic the ivory to other parts of the world, where it will fetch top dollar on the black market.

70 percent of the trade happens in China and other countries in the far east, where ivory is often purchased as a symbol of social status, and can fetch up to $1000 per pound. But another large consumer is the United States, which just crushed the vast majority of its stockpile.

Overall, the trade won’t be stopped until demand is gone. And as long the trade continues, more elephants will be slaughtered at the hands of poachers. Here are three things you can do to help stop this bloody trade:

1. Don’t purchase ivory without proper verification that it’s legal. All ivory sold in the US should be antique, and come with an official certificate, documenting its age and origin.

2. Donate to conservation groups on the ground. They’re severely underfunded, and facing heavily armed, well organized poachers.

3. Spread the word. Ivory leads to the slaughter of elephants, however many people don’t realize this upon purchase.

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33 comments on “Impact: Ivory

  1. Mackenzie-Olar

    ” People shouldn’t kill the elephants just for the ivory… Elephants will soon join the mammoths, becoming extinct. We need the elephants how do you think they feel about becoming endangered? That’s just like if they killed us just for our skin or hair… We have the power to change the world… why not start now.”

    Reply
    1. Robbie-Bobby

      I agree what is this world coming to? Killing poor helpless, innocent elephants not only elephants other animals just for money.

      Reply
    2. jodi hardin

      Makenzie you are right,we need to stand up,we need to stop these poachers.Nobody should buy this Ivory just because it belongs to the African Elephant and it has there blood on it.It legally belongs to the African Elephants.

      Reply
  2. Angie

    You said one could adopt an elephant…my class is interested in finding more information about how to do this. I could not find anything on the blog.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Mrs. Hunter

      My class is also interested in adopting an elephant and we would like to know more as well!!! Please let us know what we can do to help!!!

      Reply
    2. Mrs. Hunter

      My class is also interested in adopting an elephant and we would like to know more as well!!! Please let us know what we can do to help!!!

      Reply
  3. lake holden

    I LOVE THE ELEPHANTS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  4. josepi

    Killing elephants is terrible, but at the same time, each elephant kill is worth about 100000 dollars, so how do expext dirt poor families to not go after them?

    Reply
  5. Ashby Lambert

    I love elephants too much for them to be killed. I think it is wrong for that to happen for the innocent elephants!!!!
    -Ashby Lambert

    Reply
  6. Riverview 7th Graders

    Our class would like more information on how to adopt an elephant and what more we can do to help. Please contact us. Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Sasha Jackson

    Elephants shouldn’t be killed because they will end up extinct. Poachers should think about the future and how this could hurt our economy and put their lives and freedom in danger.

    ~Sasha Jackson

    Reply
  8. Marla Harter

    My class of sixth graders were horrified to know that this was happening to the elephants. We are also interested in doing what we can for this endangered species. We live in Iowa, but want to help the African elephant!

    Reply
  9. Dylan White

    I understand that the ivory is valueable but how wpuld you feel if your mom or dad was killed for their irvory. The purpose of them doing this just doesnt add up. Elephants are special they need to take of of them

    Reply
  10. madison greenberg

    oh my goodness this is sad i dont now how people live nowing the fact that there killing these beautiful creatures my goodness this breaks my heart that they would kill these cretures

    Reply
  11. Kristi Orlando

    I cannot quit thinking about the story from this morning about our precious elephants. I am interested in adopting a baby elephant, and I am going to solicit help from my HHS and AES students. We were spellbound this morning at the horrific reality of the ivory trade.

    Reply
  12. Faith Ann

    Humans just take and take and take. Nothing is ever good enough for us. It is horrifying to think that we could kill off the entire species of elephant, a symbolic creature in Kenya, just for the ivory they need to protect themselves.

    Reply
  13. jasmine boothman

    i don’t see why poachers think that killing elephants is okay. Elephants are harmless and is an very interesting animal and if poachers keep killing elephants for ivory elephants will no longer exist i say that an stop needs to be put to this and it needs to be put under control

    Reply
  14. Alison

    It is so sad seeing those elephants being killed just for there tusks. We need to put a stop to those poachers who are killing them all. The poor baby elephants will never have a chance with those poachers around.

    Reply
  15. Thomas D.-Hall Jr.

    I do not think Americans should go messing with other people’s (Africans) problems. I think they can handle it on their own

    Reply
  16. William Joseph Warnock

    I have an idea how you could save all them elephants if you just put them in a military base or zoo so no one can kill the elephants and they will be existing

    Reply
  17. Amber

    I would think it would be okay if the elephant was ALREADY dead, right? I mean… instead of painfully killing these soon-to-be dinosaurs. I would wait for the body to decompose and wait for the skull to be left and THEN saw the ivory off. I would do it with a permit though… if there was one… :,(

    Reply
  18. yara

    it is so sad that baby elephants are dying of dehighdration our six grade class is doing a fundraiser to adopted a baby elephant.

    Reply

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