Save the African Elephant! The biggest land animal needs your help!
The african elephant is in trouble!
Although the African elephant is not as rare as the Asian one, it's a highly endangered animal. In 1982 there were 1,2 million elephants in the wild. The number of elephants was halved in just 7 years because of ivory trading. The animals need help, we have to fight against the human lust for ivory, and we need to do it now!
Elephants and the ivory trade
The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) has always been hunted because of his precious tusks and meat. The tusks of the elephant are elongated incisors, they grow throughout their lives. The elephant tusk has two quality types: the forest elephant's tusks are thinner and they bend downwards (they are softer as well), the tusks of the steppe elephant are longer, harder, and they bend upward (this sounded awkward, sorry). The oldest ivory carving was found in France, and it's approximately 25000 years old. Since then, they use the tusk for several purposes (for example, the throne of King Solomon is made from ivory). When the trading with Africa began in the middle age, the elephant hunting has flourished too. They used camels to transport the ivory through Africa. In the 18th-19th centuries the camels were replaced with the slaves who transported the material to the local docks. After that, the ivory was exported to it's two main destinations: Europe and the Far-East. The largest losses occurred in the seventies, when they slaughtered 60000 elephants in Kenya just in 7 years of time. The losses have prompted some states to ban the ivory trade, but the slaughter has not stopped.
Destruction of the habitat
Elephants are social creatures; they live in families, which is led by an elephant cow. When the males grow up, they leave the family, and they only come back in the season of reproduction. Families travel a lot to find food. In the time of a drought or when they lose their habitat, the families form herds and travel hundreds of miles to find another grazing and water. Their trip often pass through cultivated land. In this case, not intentionally but they destroy the land of the farmers, and they draw their wrath upon themselves. The local nature conservation groups try to lead the elephants back to their previous habitat but they can't succeed every time. In the wild there is enough space for the elephants, but there is another danger factor: poachers.
Poaching is a big problem even today, and the poachers use more and more cruel ways to kill those beautiful animals. They not only kill the elephants with guns, but with grenades and poisoned arrows too; sometimes they also poison waters just to kill the elephants and get money, it's a shame! They need to work quickly if they don't want to be arrested. Luckily, the process is longer than a simple poaching run. They need chainsaws to cut off the tusks, and this takes time. Although the guards are poorly equipped, they can catch poachers, and if they catch one, that will receive the most severe penalty.
Books about the elephants and ivory trade
John Frederick Walker tells the astonishing story of the human lust for ivory and the elephants who suffer from this.
Robin Brown's fantastic book about the african elephants and ivory trading
How can we help the elephants?
The most important that you do not buy, do not wear and do not tolerate the ivory products. We need to tell that to everyone that it's not a cool thing to wear ivory bracelets, everybody should know that whenever you buy an ivory product, you support the trading thus they will kill more elephants. Nature Conservation groups support us, they also give you precise information on how we can contribute to saving the elephant!