By Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey
Unless drastic and urgent measures are taken, and implemented immediately, the African elephant could become extinct by the year 2025. In 1970, there were around 1.3 million elephants. Today there are some 350,000 and every fifteen minutes, an African elephant is killed for its ivory. Let us do something, setting up a naming and shaming campaign.
Throughout its brief history, in the equation which constitutes the human being as an animal, its survival on a sustainable basis living in harmony with the world around us had been a constant factor, until the Industrial Revolution. Since then, there has been a spike in global temperatures far outside the 25,000- and 50-000-year cycles calculated by the Serbian Professor Milankovic, destruction of habitat has led thousands of species to extinction or the endangered list and vast swathes of our land and seas have been rendered toxic by pollution.
The African elephant is no exception to the rule. Every quarter of an hour, an elephant is slaughtered for its tusks in Africa. The lucky ones are shot dead before their tusks are removed, the unlucky ones are still alive as they are hacked out by chain saws or machetes, and the quivering, terrified and tearful animal is left to be eaten alive by hyenas or vultures. Or to a slow, painful and lingering death.
This means that 36,000 elephants are killed each and every year, which means in turn that by 2023, if nothing is done, and urgently, the African elephant will become extinct in the wild. After the European Parliament recently called upon member states to introduce a moratorium on all commercial imports, exports and domestic sales and purchases of tusks and raw or unworked ivory products, until the populations of wild elephants are no longer under threat from poaching, there is hope.
However, while people are making money from sales, there is a market for poaching - and the African rhinoceros species are also facing the same threat - and coupled with this is the fact that the killing of a single animal and the removal of its tusks (or horns) provide an absolute fortune to someone from a rural background, say, in Mozambique, making him rich overnight.
The average tusk brings the poacher around one thousand USD, which is one thousand times an average day's wage. More....