By Cindy Gregory [Letter to Editor\
To the Editor:
On Saturday, October 4th, in more than 100 cities around the world, there will be a Global March for Elephants and Rhinos to raise awareness about the poaching crisis these animals are facing and to be a voice for these animals.
Each day approximately 100 elephants are killed for their ivory tusks. Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal killing. At this rate of poaching, our elephants are facing extinction within 10 years. (See NationalGeographic.com, “100,000 Elephants Killed by Poachers in Three Years, Landmark Analysis Finds.”)
The demand for ivory, most notably in China and elsewhere in Asia, and the confusion caused by a one-time sale of confiscated ivory have helped keep black market prices high in Africa.
Obviously, we must take action to prevent the extinction of the elephant! Elephants are vital to other species of African wildlife, they open forest land and create firebreaks and grassland, create water access and disperse seeds that enhance tree diversity. Not to mention the fact that elephants are extremely intelligent and emotional beings that are bonded to their families.
Last July, President Obama issued an Executive Order banning the commercial trade of ivory in the United States. Within the last few months, New York and New Jersey have also implemented states bans of the trade of ivory, and Hawaii is expected to do the same. However, there are some special interest groups (the NRA for one) who are pushing hard to reverse the executive order because they own items that are made with or contain ivory.
We must also put pressure on China to close their carving factories as they are the number one consumers of ivory, with the United States a close second.
There is a growing international movement to raise awareness and to be a voice for the elephants. On Saturday, October 4th, there will be a Global March for the Elephants and Rhinos that will be taking place in over 100 cities around the world, including Charlotte.
If we let the elephants become extinct, what does that say about us as human beings. We are supposed to be the superior species, and yet it seems to be our nature to destroy so much of our world.
I hope that you will share this information with your readers. In order to save our elephants we must raise our voice together and demand that the leaders of our world take action!
The writer is among the organizers of the Charlotte march