By Li Aoxue
As a child in Kenya, Joyce Poole developed a love of elephants. Now she is in China, campaigning against their slaughter. Li Aoxue reports.
Joyce Poole has been a lifelong campaigner against the ivory trade and the killing of elephants that goes with it. Her fascination with the animal began at age 6, when her father moved the family from the United States to Kenya, and quickly grew when as a teenager she began to study their behavior.
Protecting elephants has been a passion for Poole and eventually drew her to Hong Kong in 1989 as part of a worldwide campaign against the ivory trade.
Now she is back in China, this time on the mainland, which has become the largest market in the world for ivory.
"China started to become the main consumer when they were allowed to buy ivory in 2007, and the situation has become worse, especially in recent years," Poole says.
She believes part of the problem is a lack of understanding about the process of collecting ivory and that it involves killing the elephant.
"Most people don't know that to make an ivory product, people need to cut the trunk from an elephant, and it is a cruel thing as that it is going to take the elephant's life," she says.
The good thing is that many Chinese have joined the fight against the ivory trade, and celebrities such as Jackie Chen have taken up the cause of animal welfare, she says.
Some day, she says, elephants could become an extinct species. More....