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Elephant Population in Danger
Elephant poaching is at an illegal high, according to The Huffington Post. In 2012 about 22,000 elephants were killed. It is an unacceptable number just a little lower than the 25,000 elephants killed in 2011. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, reported that the poaching occurred in forty-two sites across twenty-seven Africa countries. If illegal poaching continues, twenty percent of Africa’s elephant population could be killed in the next ten years. The new data released at the Elephant Summit in Botswana is alarming. The poaching rate is twice the continental average in Central Africa.
The illegal ivory trade needs to stop sooner rather than later, though in an ideal world it would cease completely. Most recently in September of this year, more than three hundred elephants were killed in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park with the use of cyanide poisoning. The Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called the appalling incident the “worst single massacre in southern Africa for twenty-five years.” CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon stated, “. . . we continue to face a critical situation. Current elephant poaching in Africa remains far too high, and could soon lead to local extinctions if the present killing rates continue.”
Poverty and a weak government could be the blame, but there is also a distasteful rising demand for ivory. If we want to save the gentle giants there must be a permanent stop to the illegal ivory trade and the elephant population must be secured and protected. With the strengthening of national laws and cooperation between countries the beautiful and harmless creatures can be saved for future generations.
Elephant Population in Danger by Jaan