Every African Elephant Lost Within 20 Years?

Wild Elephants of Mole National Park, Ghana - Photo: Kim Clune

Wild Elephants of Mole National Park, Ghana, July 27, 2008 – Photo: Kim Clune

One of my life’s most magical moments was watching a family of four wild African elephants emerge from Mole National Forest for a swim. Mole refuge spans 3000 square miles but, as large and mostly untouched by humans as this special place is, poaching elephants for ivory is still greatly feared. You Can Help These Elephants.

Humane Society International shared a startling fact last week.

Every single day, 100 African elephants are slaughtered for their tusks. If current poaching rates continue, this beloved animal will be gone forever in the next 20 years.

Being born a majestic elephant is an ill fate indeed. Whether captured for carnival cruelty, limited to life in a zoo, or shot dead to make souvenir trinkets, our human impact has made this world a deadly place for these magnificent and emotional beings.

Good News on the African Elephant Horizon

In November of 2013, the U.S. government crushed more than five tons of its confiscated ivory stockpile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said:

We’re doing this to send a signal to the world that we need to crush the illegal trade in ivory and wildlife products in general.

Weeks later, China, the world’s largest market for elephant products, followed suit by publicly crushing six tons of confiscated ivory, an equivalent to 2,000 poached elephants. While there are plenty of issues still as stake, like China’s still legal ivory trade, this is an important first step.

Keep the Momentum Going in Hong Kong!

Join forces with Humane Society International. Urge the Hong Kong government to destroy the ivory it has confiscated.

It must join the U.S. and China in sending a message to poachers and traffickers that their days of profiting from killing are coming to an end.

Sign the Petition!

Humane Society International - Destroy Hong Kong’s Ivory Stockpile!

Petition Text: African elephant poaching has reached critical levels. With 100 elephants being killed every single day and tons of illegally shipped ivory being seized on an almost monthly basis, urgent action is needed to put an end to this crisis.

Hong Kong needs to join other governments — including those of China, the Philippines, and the United States — in taking meaningful action to protect elephants by destroying its stockpile of confiscated ivory.

This important step would highlight the plight of the tens of thousands of elephants at risk of being wiped out by greed. I urge you to destroy the Hong Kong government’s stockpile to help save these majestic animals before it is too late.

Thank you for caring about wild elephants like the ones I met in Ghana. 

Wild Elephants of Mole National Park, Ghana, July 27, 2008 - Photo: Kim Clune

Kim Clune with a Park Ranger and Wild Elephants of Mole National Park,
Ghana, July 27, 2008

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  1. Thanks for writing and bringing attention to this. Signed the petition.

  2. Kim, what a wonderful topic to blog about for BTC4A this time around! We are so proud of China for destroying the ivory!!

    And we have to share, because it just went public (we’ve been sitting on this info for MONTHS and weren’t free to tell anyone, but now we can!!!!).

    Our human brother just came back from Kenya, where he worked with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy to put drones in place, patrolling the conservancy’s expansive grounds for poachers.

    This particular conservancy is home to many elephants and four of the world’s last remaining seven northern white rhinos. (He got to meet Sudan, one of them, up close and personal, too!)

    We are so very, very proud of his efforts and his company’s mission to use drones for beneficial purposes, and to help save precious lives in our animal kingdom!

    • Wow. I never would have imagined the use of drones as a tactic! Having only a singular mental image of what a drone is used for, I’m dying of curiosity. Is it possible for you to answer any of my many questions?

      – Are there cameras attached?
      – Are weapons of some sort involved?
      – How can you tell the difference between a poacher and a wandering adventurer?
      – What scenarios are carried out when either is detected?

  3. It completely baffles me that the ivory trade is still a ‘thing’ and that it’s not obvious to all that hunting these species (elephants, rhinos) – whether or not for this reason – is just categorically wrong. 100 elephants. Per day. Wow. A depressing fact I previously did not know. Definitely headed off to sign and share the petition.

    • So I signed, and I just thought I should warn you – the link to the petition in the image above shows all of your personal info filled in the petition form. Address, etc. Not sure if that’s something you want out there?

    • Right? I couldn’t believe this line in the article about China.

      “Although Chinese authorities have stepped up anti-trafficking efforts in recent years, the trade in illegal ivory has continued, in part because many Chinese people do not know elephants have to die for the ivory to be taken.”

      It goes on to list a huge challenge:

      “Part of the problem, conservationists say, is that China continues to allow a legal, licensed trade in ivory. It classifies ivory carving as part of its traditional culture and allows 37 workshops to operate, mainly using a stockpile of ivory it bought in 2008 during a period when elephant numbers were relatively healthy and limited international trade was allowed.”

      And there’s also this…

      “Demand for ivory has grown in China along with its economy, and an increasing tendency of newly affluent Chinese to give expensive items, such as ivory ornaments, as gifts to government or business contacts.”

      There is so much that has to happen legally and culturally before real change happens.

      PS: Thank you for alerting me to the petition issue. I think I’ve fixed it now.

  4. Petition signed. This is such a tragic situation caused for the most part by people who believe the elephant tusks will provide magical medical cures. Hollywood is currently filming two separate movies about poaching. I hope it will bring the issue to the public’s attention. Nice work.
    Petrescuemomma at Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog:

  5. Fantastic post on a critical issue. We obviously share a passion for wildlife, I’m going to follow you for more posts! I had previously signed the petition and it’s great that so many new signers will be the result of your post.

  6. thanks for sharing. signed, sealed, delivered. it is such a shame ppl put a higher regard on ivory (money) than a life. educate and inform. thanks for doing both!

  7. Kim,
    Thank you for fixing my link and for the link to your Beluga video. No, I wasn’t brave enough today to watch the Russian capture video…maybe another time. Incidentally, I was surprised when I saw your blog title and description, so similar in idea to the one I had just created for my new blog! I went back and tweaked my blog description, just so yours would continue to be unique. Thanks for your help today!

  8. My gosh, that is a LOT of elephants every day. I can’t even imagine that kind of slaughter and there still being some left. I can see why this issue is urgent.

  9. I had no idea that elephants were still be poached at such an alarming rate. I signed the petition, thanks for sharing that information!

  10. it very sad that in spite of taking so many precautions still elephants are being pouched by the hunters.

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