- Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Illegal hunting and killing of elephants is still sad reality in Africa despite the international ban on ivory trade. Ivory is extremely valuable at black market, and is valued at around $12,5 billions.
These high profits attract poachers that ruthlessly kill elephants, and in 2006 alone more than 11 metric tonnes of illegal ivory were seized from ships destined for Taiwan and Japan. Elephants are also being killed for their ears, which are being used for painting canvases.
Current estimates are extremely worrying for African elephants. Based on the annual number of illegal task seizures scientists predict that 38,000 elephants is killed each year because of tasks, and if this trend continues in about 5 years time African elephants will go extinct since today there are only around 600,000 elephants still remaining in Africa.
As long as ivory trade is bringing high profits to poachers they won't stop hunting and killing elephants, and these killings have taken such a proportion that Africa could soon lose all of its elephants. Can you imagine Africa without the elephants? How ruthless and greedy can person be to be able to pull the trigger and kill these magnificent, peace-loving animals?
Current efforts are definitely not enough to stop elephant poaching in Africa, and I strongly believe that animal poaching in Africa will continue as long as African people remain poor and hungry as they are today. The fact that Africa is the poorest continent is the most important factor that contributes to animal poaching because African people look at it as the source of significant income which widely opens the door to international poaching gangs.
Developed countries are entirely to blame for this problem because they do not do anything to stop poverty and hunger and Africa, which indirectly makes poaching in Africa lot easier. Without the help of rich countries African wildlife will be in great jeopardy and many animals will perish from the face of the planet, especially since poaching is these days well-organized business, with international poaching gangs pulling the strings.
Total ivory trade ban that some see as solution is only partial solution that will not stop poaching because it will not solve the problem of hunger and poverty across the black continent. African continent needs better life standard, more money, more food, more jobs, and more educated people to fight these big ecological problems.
And animal poaching is definitely one of the biggest, if not the biggest ecological problem in Africa. The seriousness of current situation is best described if we look at the data from Chad's Zakouma National Park that had 3,885 elephants in 2005 but by 2009 the number has dropped to just 617, with dozens of rangers killed by poachers there over the same period. As you can see elephant poaching is really out of control in Africa, and needs to be stopped immediately.
Elephants are being killed for their tusks (ivory), and for their ears as canvases for painting.
There were once 160 species of elephants on the planet. Today, there are only three. Of the remaining species, all three are endangered. Researchers have warned that by the year 2020, there could be no elephants left in the wild. We run the risk of losing them forever. And yet, although they are almost a universal symbol of the tragedy of species extinction, they continue to be hunted for their flesh, hide, tusks and ears. Yes, their ears.
For an average price of several thousand dollars, one can purchase a piece of art, depicting a scene of Africa or its people, or perhaps a portrait of one of these magnificent creatures themselves, painted upon the five-foot tall ear of what was once a majestic animal.
Ban poaching of elephants.