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Elephants and Ivory

Updated on September 26, 2012

As I was reading a National Geographic magazine, the cover was about elephants and how they are being hunted and killed just for their tusks. One picture they showed a guy hacking off a tusk from an elephant that he had just killed and in front the children were carrying the other tusk they they had already taken off. This really saddened me because elephants are good animals and like all animals they have a place on this earth and I don't think that place is to be hunted just for their tusks. Just 25,000 elephants were killed this year alone and among them young elephants were also killed.

The reason they are hunted is for the ivory that they produce through their tusks. Ivory is nice to have but at the cost of what? They use ivory for many things like statues and decorations that they can put around their homes or even churches. When I saw a picture of a cross with Jesus on it, I couldn't believe it was made out of ivory and the other religious items that they use ivory for. It is know that many people smuggle ivory because they can get good money for it. For one family, one large tusk sold within the black market can bring them about $6,000 and this is enough to support them for ten years. Why make money this way, why kills elephants?

This is a sad situation, very soon elephants will become extinct because they are left in the middle of nowhere to rot after being killed for their tusks. I know animals are not the same as humans and they may not have all the rights because they are animals but they have feelings and emotions and even fear and pain. I for one do not want to buy anything ivory now that I have read how cruel they treat the elephants just so they can get money.


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    • Dancilla profile image

      Priscilla 5 years ago from El Paso

      I agree with what you say, it was one eye opening article for me.

    • Dancilla profile image

      Priscilla 5 years ago from El Paso

      Thank you for stopping by to read, I think more people should know about this.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Poaching has been going on forever. They don't stop it because there is too much money in it. It's so sad. Why kill an elephant in the first place, let alone for just the tusks? That's like killing the whales for the blubber. Both are made synthetically now. Besides that, ivory yellows after awhile and is ugly. That's why they don't use it on pianos much any more.

      Good hub and I totally agree with you on the subject. Voted up.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I read the National Geographic article "Blood Ivory", also, and it made me both sad and furiously angry.

      The slaughter of from 25,000 to 50,000 elephants in Africa alone last year, in spite of a global ban on selling ivory, was horrific. Elephants are very intelligent and loving animals. They demonstrate this by mourning when one of their herd dies and looking after orphans.

      And, yes, animals do have rights. These are supposed to be protected by an international treaty, but not every country signed it, including several African countries. Nor did the Vatican (which manages to be exempt from all laws as though it's a separate country).

      Even in those areas of Africa that are part of the treaty and where it's illegal to kill elephants and sell ivory, poachers do it because of the huge sums of money to be made. If the market for ivory did not exist, the elephants would not be killed.

      The fact that they are killed so their tusks can be used to carve religious artifacts is disgusting. Several religions--Christian Catholic (starting with the Vatican), Moslems, even Buddhists (and I always thought Buddhists abhored killing!)--are involved in this use of ivory from murdered elephants for religious icons.

      If I hadn't already walked away from the Catholic Church for other reasons, I would certainly do so now. There is NOTHING religious about the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants so that their tusks can be carved into religious statues.

      However, one of the former presidents of the U.S., Ronald Reagan, purchased an ivory Madonna carving given as a state gift by one of the popes so he could keep it after he left office. (I never liked Reagan or thought him a good president simply because he --a former actor-- had charisma, but learning this sends him even lower in my estimation.)

      Anyone who deals in stolen ivory from murdered elephants deserves punishment, though it's doubtful this will happen. That is why I am sad and furious. Some day, as you wrote, there will be no elephants left. They will be extinct...and why? Because MEN, HUMANS think religious statues should be made from ivory tusks! To me, that makes a mockery of religion.

      I urge everyone to read the National Geographic article by Bryan Christy, "Blood Ivory" online: