“What is a fish without a river? What is a bird without a tree to nest in? What is an Endangered Species Act without any enforcement mechanism to ensure their habitat is protected? It is nothing.”
From the very true saying of Mr. Jay Inslee, here we are, the human race standing quiet, with our mere cruel existence, thinking just about ourselves, our future, future of our generations. Our whole world revolves around the word “our”. Is it so tough to realize the fact that we were not the only living creatures sent to the planet? I believe, it is, which is why plundering, poaching, and killing of wild animals, especially African elephants, is still so rampant.
The supremely majestic African elephants, revered all over the world for their amazing social behavior, live in herds led by an older, single female, the matriarch. In the savannah, their families join together and form a clan of more than 70 members. It is known that the male members (also known as a bull) of the African elephant clan generally reside alone. The ones living in the deeper wild generally have a smaller family unit and wander about separately.
According to the sources of the World Wildlife Fund, there were nearly as many as 10 million wild elephants inhabiting the dense swath of Africa but the never-ending poaching caused a drop of nearly 111,000 elephants in a span of a decade. But rather than the alarmingly reduced rates of the endangered African tusks bearers, what surprises us more is the complete denial of the fact that this approach of the people towards nature is disturbing not only the ecosystem but also the human race. Such ignorance reveals that just for temporary monetary happiness human beings are hell-bent on destroying the natural vibrancy of the planet, its animals.
Why Are African Elephants Endangered?
Why Are African Elephants Endangered?
According to the reports, today, we are left with less than 415,000 African elephants in the wild. Researches show that the key reasons for poaching could be:
1. Ivory Business:
The ivory trade is internationally banned and this is acknowledged by people around the world, but acknowledging, as they say, is never equal to implementing. The desire for money and the unexplained demand for ivory jewelry are enough to convince the traders, the consumers, and fo course, the poachers to continue with this unethical and illegal practice. According to the statistics provided, nearly 10,000 wild elephants are killed each year only for ivory trading, with China being the highest consumer around the globe. This ban on ivory trading was introduced by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in the year 1989. The situation improved after the ban was ensured, but the corruption in the forest departments and the strong demands of ivory has led to a surge of illegal trafficking in the ivory market.
2. Ever-Increasing Human Population
Not just the ivory trade, but the ever-increasing human population is also a major cause behind the decrease in the African elephant population. Since the population is increasing at a rapid speed, there is a never-ending demand for homes. Killing forest habitats makes it easier for people to expand their territories. They have forgotten that each one had been allotted a zone to reside in. Invading the regions of wild beings is not an option. Rather than population control for themselves, humans are focussing more on reducing the population of already reduced ones. Such kind of cruelty on our part is both ethically and practically wrong.
3. Increasing Conflicts With Humans:
Another major issue is the clash between humans and the wild, which is not being controlled by any government of the world. For such cases, the government should take proper measures to create a strong barricade between humans and the wild ones. Elephants do raid farms, destruct fields, and cause non-retrieval losses, but killing them in retaliation is never a solution.
4. Recreation Purposes:
If these reasons weren’t enough, people even kill animals, including the majestic African elephants, for fun. People need to realize that gone are the days where hunting was a part of recreation. If people want them to be classified as intelligent species, then they must give up on hunting, as killing for fun is mentioned nowhere in the rulebook of the educated people.
The endangering of African elephants is not a small issue that can be solved overnight by creating certain rules. It requires several strategies and planning, which must be made keeping the ecosystem into consideration. But most importantly, it requires an honest and earnest spirit to save these beautiful, huge tusk bearers.
Hence, we must try our level best to conserve whatever few African elephants are left in the wild before they go extinct. Conservation efforts are going on strong and we’re hoping to hear some good news soon.