@natgeo

August 12 2019 - 13:38

Photo by Beverly Joubert @beverlyjoubert | For World Elephant Day, I'm posting an image of the burning tusks from thousands of elephants in Kenya in 2016, the largest ivory burn to date. These burns are controversial acts against poaching because of the high monetary value of ivory, and while Kenya didn’t expect this to end the poaching, it sent a strong message: Elephants are worth more alive, and Kenya was stepping up its war against those who traffic in wildlife and wildlife products. Why not sell the ivory and use the money for the conservation of these animals? Well, these tusks are mostly from elephants illegally killed for their ivory, which has been confiscated over the years, and Kenya refused to make money from contraband. Also, in the past ivory released for sale ended up fueling the demand, and there was a sudden and extreme rise in elephant poaching, which has cost countries countless more millions than were ever raised from sales. Tanzania lost over half its elephant population in just five years, and Africa lost a whopping third of all elephants. Many people don’t know that elephants are killed for their tusks and believe that they fall out naturally. They don’t. Since this burn, a number of important things have happened. China has banned the sale of ivory, and while there is still illegal trade, prices have fallen dramatically and so has elephant poaching. However, in southern Africa, where the world's last substantial elephant population remains, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe are calling for an end to the ban in trade of raw ivory and are planning to apply for these changes at the next CITES to conference, declaring that the money raised will be used for conservation and anti-poaching. #worldelephantday #worthmorealive #saynotoivory #kenyaivoryburn #whenthebuyingstopsthekillingcantoo

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