The golden fireball rose into the black sky, spreading its golden rays everywhere. Steadily, the darkness disappeared, like a defeated king giving up his throne. The night was over. The tall trees stood black against the fiery golden sky. Staring at this amazing sight, she wondered how it could have looked with elephants slowly getting up and starting a new and hopeful day.
The elephants are gone; they will never enjoy this moment, for they are all dead, tragically killed by hunters who want their ivory for human enjoyment. The only reminder that the elephants were once there are a few of their bones, carelessly left behind by the poachers. Elephants are important to the world in their own way, a way that the poachers cannot understand. The poachers don’t care that when they kill elephants it affects the beautiful nature around them. It will affect the lush green trees, the brilliant sun rises each morning, and the amazing nature that they walk in each day. That nature will be gone without the elephants.
Illegally killing elephants for ivory is drastically decreasing the number of elephants in the world and should be stopped before it’s too late.All through history, elephants have been hunted for their ivory. Since prehistoric times, ivory has been used for human enjoyment. It was used in ancient Egypt, Assyria, Crete, Mycenae, Greece, and Italy. The Greeks used the ivory for statues and the Roman used it for furniture. Ivory is admired for its smoothness, for its ability to be carved so easily, and for the way it shines. In the past years, ivory has been used specifically for ivory necklaces and small interesting carvings, as well as piano keys until ivory became illegal. The beginning of elephant protection started in 1989 when it became illegal to sell parts of an elephant and ivory markets in the U.
S. and Europe closed down. This beginning is a huge step for protecting elephants, but there is still a long way to go.
The first symbolic stockpile burning happened in the year 1989, in Kenya, which burnt 12,000 kilograms of ivory. They did this so the ivory would never be sold and used for human things and make people want more of it. By burning the ivory, Kenya showed that they were against selling ivory and was dedicated to ending it. In 2000 CITES, a convention in the UN that protects and bans the trade of animals if they are endangered, agreed that there would be no more ivory trade. In those years CITES had progressed and saved many elephants’ lives but then the situation suddenly became even worse. In an auctioned sale, 105 tons of ivory were sold in Japan and China in the year 2008. In 2016 the U.
S. made strict limits to selling ivory, which consisted of not being allowed to sell ivory unless it is unique. China followed in America’s footsteps and a year later, in 2017, China put in effect the near complete ivory ban. China is thought to be one of the largest illegal and legal ivory users; the people there use ivory for carvings, trinkets, chopsticks, and more.
Elephants in Africa are steadily getting killed and coming closer to extinction in Africa. Every year, about 30,000 elephants get killed by poachers in Africa. The worst time for the elephants, when so many elephants were killed that it’s hard to understand, was between 2010 and 2012.
In those years more than 100,000 were killed. After a few years, the percentage of elephants has dramatically decreased, leaving only a few elephants and fearing of what will happen to them next. For example, Tanzania has lost sixty percent of its elephants to poachers, and suddenly the number went from 110,000 to 40,000. Park rangers who are greatly outnumbered, are usually the only ones who try to stop this harrowing crime but have the wrong kind of equipment to stop the unpaid park rangers and poor villagers. Going through other villages in order to get to the elephants, the poachers often kill men women, and children, sometimes even taking young boys along with them. They kidnap boys in order to teach them how to become killers themselves, to join them, and help in their crimes. When boys escape and come back to their village, they are not welcome.
Scared, the villagers are afraid they have come to tear apart their homes, just like their capturers had. By taking the boys hostage, the killers practically ruin the rest of their lives, their own family are now afraid and reject them.Elephants are a critical part of nature. They dig deep wells in dry riverbeds and when it rains a water hole is created for not only the elephants but for smaller and weaker animals too. If elephants become extinct due to the ivory trade, there would be a lot fewer water holes for animals, which will cause them to slowly become extinct because of dehydration. Another way elephants affect nature is that they help grow trees. When elephants walk through forests they disturb seeds by crashing through the thick green forests and helping trees grow faster. If all elephants die out, the beautiful trees of Africa will go with them.
Elephants feeding on tree sprouts and shrubs help keep the plains open for smaller animals. It creates gaps in the forests which make more space for new plants to grow and slowly it develops pathways for smaller animals to walk in. Nature without elephants would mean no deep mysterious forests in which every corner hides a secret waiting to be discovered. And the little colorful animals would disappear forever, leaving no trace of their existence behind.
The consequence of killing these clever and lumbering elephants for the use of their tusks is that the population of elephants has plummeted. If the pace of the slaughtering does not decelerate elephants all become extinct and leave behind their sad story of extinction. In the poacher’s eyes, the beauty of the elephant is the tusk and humans should be the ones enjoying its glossy beauty. Acting now is the only way to save the elephants and there are a few ways to do that. By killing these remarkable animals they are taking away one special life that could have turned into a wonderful thing, a leader to the elephants, or a savior to the smaller animals from the bigger ones.
The elephants were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white. The first and most important way is raising awareness, and that can be done in many different ways. Make posters or draw posters and hang them up for everyone to see. Start a conversation with the next person you meet, tell them about the resistance and try to get them involved.
Talk about elephants in school, and come up with ways to protect the elephants and what can be done to ensure their survival in the future. Raising awareness is a critical part of the resistance because powerful people would see it and decide to help out with saving elephants. The second way of resisting is supporting organizations that are working to stop illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory. For example, one successful organization is Save the Elephants, they monitor and protect the elephants using tracking systems. Another successful organization is 96 Elephants, an organization that partners with 96 other ones, has saved many elephant’s lives.