By Issac Kalua
We are now witnessing accelerated demise for elephants, not to the ultimate call of nature but to poaching, the ultimate call of greed. For instance, over the last 10 years, Zakouma National Park in Chad has lost at least 90 percent of its elephants.
Just last year in 2012, Kenya lost 384 elephants and 29 rhinos to poaching. This year, we have lost 190 elephants and 34 rhinos.
The situation was worse last year in Cameroon when heavily armed poachers entered the Bouba N'Djida National Park in northern Cameroon killing over 450 elephants. Tragic as this was, it was even more heartbreaking between 1979 and 1989 when half of Africa’s elephants were killed for their ivory! Totally unconscionable and unpardonable.
These are not just statistical numbers. They are gigantic elephants that once roamed in colossal grace but are now falling under immense onslaught.
They are mostly felled for their ivory, which fetches anywhere from Sh85,000 to Sh425,000 per kilo. Although ivory trade was banned in 1989, this hasn’t stopped poachers and their clients from conspiring to kill elephants because of the ivories that dangle from their gentle faces.
In 1989, the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) stopped right in front of poachers and gave a clear, legal and global command – STOP! CITES moved elephants from Appendix II to Appendix I, in effect banning all international trade in elephants and their parts and derivatives. More....