By Gabriella Indart
Just like a feud between cats and dogs, the fight between poachers and the rest of the world will never end. Subsequently, next week, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services have enforced the destruction of over six tons of illegal African elephant ivory, hoping to send a message that ivory, rhinoceros horns, and other illicit animal products hold no value.
With the coming of this destruction it’s worrisome that perhaps this action will result in a counterattack bring forth a larger demand for the ivory which has “suddenly” become an uncommon item in the black market.
“From 1980, African elephant population has decreased by 65 percent from 1.2 million to 420,000 elephants in 2012’’ said Mary Dixon, a spokeswoman with the Wildlife Conservation Society. WCS estimates 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa, about 35,000 were lost in 2012 only.
‘’I understand that the demand for ivory and other illegal animal products is a growing industry filled with many consumers. Eventually, like fossil fuels these products will soon disappear along with the rest of the elephant population if the poaching continued, but by just destroying the ivory it will only encourage the poachers to kill off more elephants for the increased demand of ivory,’’ said Pablo Alonso, a junior at MLEC in the Health Academy.
These poachers are brazen and brutal; destroying tons of ivory will only add oil to the flames. This isn’t the first method attempted to hold back the poachers. Kenya launched its own national awareness campaign to save its elephants. In addition to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea who revealed their own campaign (an $80-million, three-year partnership with the WCS focused on illegal ivory).
Kenya also recently implemented tactics used against drug warfare such as bringing in canines to patrol airports, sniffing out suitcases possibly filled with the ivory. More....