Elephant Poaching

1127 words 5 pages
Elephant Poaching
“We are experiencing what is likely to be the greatest percentage loss of elephants in history,” said Richard G. Ruggiero, an official with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Ney York Times; December 3, 2012). The poaching of elephants started in the late 1800’s and is still happening today. People are slaughtering these majestic animals for their ivory tusks. Ivory has been sold on the black market for millions of dollars. Before the start of ivory poaching there were millions of elephants in the world in both Africa and India, but today because of the hunting for ivory, there are barely any of these giants left in the wild. Throughout history Europeans have been moving in on central African states to make
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Poachers will go to all risks to take an innocent creatures life, even though there are harsh punishments if caught. For the federal agencies that aim to protect wild animals, it is often difficult to catch and convict a poacher, because the agencies have to cover very large areas with a small number of staff. Often a poacher will be caught at an airport, attempting to sneak on a large shipment of illegally poached items. In these cases, the poachers are frequently convicted and sentenced to time in jail; although in some cases, if serious enough, the poacher may possibly be sentenced to death. An example of agencies efforts is in 1989 when a team of rangers found four deceased elephants, slashed open, and tusks gone. Two men were spotted by rangers looking for their fifth elephant to kill, when shots immediately broke out. Both poachers were killed and eight tusks were recovered by the rangers. (Voice of America; January 9, 2013) Unfortunately rangers also lose their lives battling to protect elephants.
Some people may ask; what would anyone want ivory for? Well, believe or not, ivory from elephant tusks have been compared to diamonds. The Chinese have been huge collectors of this rare commodity for centuries. They are known for their exquisite carvings, some now in museums from the 15th and 16th centuries. Historians and archaeologists have recovered ivory-made items such as; practical tools,


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