(Mirror Daily, United States) African elephants are one of the iconic images of a continent. A recently published study shows that they are a threatened species, as there have been registered low populations. The number of the members has severely dropped since the last reviews.
If you were wondering what is the reason for the disappearance of African elephants, you should know it is poaching. The large animals are hunted and killed for their valuable ivory tusks. Recent research revealed that their population dropped by thirty percent between 2007 and 2014. The Great Elephant Census published the results on August 31.
Because of the massive reduction of the numbers of African elephants, specialists are thinking about well-organized programs of protecting them. It seems that only with the help of environmentalists and biologists can the animals regain the balance of their populations. Nevertheless, it is still humans those who decimated them in the first place.
An aerial survey carried out six years ago showed to the researchers that most of the elephants lived in Botswana and Zimbabwe. They registered approximately 352,000 animals across several countries. On the other hand, they also came upon an alarming number of dead elephants, which suggested that hunters were still after them.
Although law forbids ivory trade, hunters and dealers still manage to carry on with their business. There are regions where a pound of ivory is sold for $1,000, which makes quite a profit for business owners. Ivory objects or tusks as such are used to display wealth and excessive luxury.
Animal lovers find this is a crude way of people to brag about their wealth. The elephants are killed and slaughtered for their tusks. The same thing happens to other animals such as rhinos. Statistics show that thousands of African elephants are killed each year for the sake of their ivory tusks.
Officials intend to enforce guard around territories and to shut down markets where ivory is being traded. The Wildlife Conservation Society already stated some of the solutions:
“Enactment of solutions will [save the elephants], and we know the solutions: strong governance, funding for rangers and closing down ivory markets among them.” (Cristián Samper, The Wildlife Conservation Society)
Several animal protection projects were financed by Paul Allen (Microsoft co-founder), who donated a significant part of his fortune to the cause.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia
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