Illegal poaching and animal trafficking is a big problem, not just due to the unnecessary slaughter of animals but the reasons behind it and actions it supports. The Washington Post states, “Illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated $19 billion a year — more than the illicit trafficking of small arms, diamonds, gold or oil.”Many terrorist groups leverage poaching as a means for funding. An investigation in Kenya found that it supports up to 40% of their income. Former director of the Kenyan Wildlife Service and the U.N. secretary general have linked poaching crimes for monetary gain to groups such as Al-Qaedua, Al-shabab, and even the Lord’s Resistance Army. How does a park ranger making $150 per month protecting the animals such as rhinos and elephants combat terrorists who sell rhino horns for anywhere between $50,000 – $97,000 per kilogram or elephants tusk for $1800 each? Today there is effort to use drones to fight poaching but it tends to have its challenges due to the complicated nature of them.
In an effort to put a foot down against terrorist income and crime, on November 14, 2013 the US government inspired the Environmental Investigation Agency by ordering 5.4 tonnes of seized elephant ivory found in Denver, Colorado to be destroyed. This is known as the “Denver Crush“. “African elephants are suffering unspeakable atrocities across much of Africa to feed the demand for ivory,” said Allan Thornton, president of EIA, a non-profit based in London and Washington DC dedicated to exposing environmental crime. The United States is actually the very first developed country to ever destroy seized ivory stocks to make a statement about the year over year compounding issue of elephant slaughter which supports the world’s terrorist organizations.
So, what can we do to stop the slaughter and help stunt funding to terrorist organizations? I used to think, “I am only one person…can my support really help?” The answer is, YES! We can ALL (one person at a time) make a difference. Check out the ways you can help make your footprint in this world:
You can check out her book Coming of Age With Elephants here.
In this pic, you can see how the Nursery orphans are constantly embracing and keeping watch over each other. The video below details the importance and hard work that goes towards all the orphan rescues at DSWT. This specific one is Sokotei’s rescue. You can foster and support an orphan by going here..
Thailand has an amazing animal sanctuary, ENP (Elephant Nature Park) founded and run by Lek Chailert. I have read A LOT about Lek. Elephant Nature Foundation is a non-profit organization which advocates and acts on behalf of the rights of Asian elephants in Thailand. Their mission is to increase awareness about the plight of the endangered Asian elephant, educate locals on the humane treatment of their elephants, and provide sanctuary for rescued elephants at ENP.
With a love and respect for her country’s national symbol and the knowledge that they were becoming endangered, Lek began advocating for the rights and welfare of Asian elephants in Thailand. In an industry that is steeped in its traditions, advocating for a change to the way domestic and wild Asian elephants are treated has not been an easy battle. But through hard work and determination her voice is beginning to be heard. In addition to several documentaries about her work by National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet, and the BBC, Lek has also been honored to receive many awards.
Spread the word to everyone about how important elephant conservation is![google-translator]