Elephants are a severely endangered species. This is due mostly to the fact that humans found a use for their tusks. Since there are only two tusks per elephant, the ivory material that their tusks are made of became very valuable and has been an internationally traded resource for a very long time. However, it is neither possible nor humane to remove an elephant's tusks while it is alive. The only way to harvest the tusks is to kill the elephant. Once it became obvious that the elephant population could not withstand this market, it became illegal to kill elephants for their tusks. Making something illegal does not stop everyone, though, and the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a prime example of this. The park contains an estimated 1,700 elephants. 68 of these have been slaughtered in the past two months, and 30 of those 68 kills happened within a time frame of 15 days.
Those who kill the elephants simply gun them down, remove the tusks and move on. They do this out of extreme greed because one tusk can earn them between $20,000 and $175,000 depending on its size and weight. Warlords and other such people will trade them for ammunition and can earn around 18,000 bullets. There have been 41 nations who signed a declaration to help protect endangered species like these elephants, but as many as 15 of them have not been shown doing anything of the sort. As humans, it is our responsibility to protect our earth and all of the creatures in it. It is appalling that anyone could gun down an innocent and beautiful creature for a small bit of their body and just leave it to rot. These animals need our help, and the governments and law enforcements in these areas need to take action and stop these people from wiping the Asian Elephant off the map permanently.
March 3, 2015