Sunday, January 17, 2010

Elephant poaching on the rise

Elephant poaching is yet again on the rise, mostly because of high demand for ivory in some Asian countries. Scientists have issued this warning based on the findings that more than 14,000 different products made from the tusks and other body parts of elephants were seized in 2009, and this is an increase of more than 2,000 compared to their previous analysis in 2007.

Fast developing economies like China and India are mostly to blame for recent high ivory demand. With better economic power more and more people in these countries can now afford ivory, which has become something like the status symbol for middle class in these countries, especially since price of the ivory has heavily increased over the last couple of years, rising from from $200 a kilogram in 2004 to more than $6,000 in 2009.

Situation has really become alarming and scientists estimate that between 8% and 10% of Africa's elephants are now being killed each year to meet the high ivory demand. World's largest animals are once again under great jeopardy, and many of them are being each year viciously slaughtered by merciless poachers that care only for money.

Sadly, as long as there is high demand for ivory, merciless elephant poaching will continue, and the solution to this problem is hard to find. One fact is sure, elephants, especially the ones in Africa, need much more protection because poaching gangs are becoming more and more organized, and there are not enough rangers to stop them.

Another big problem is hunger in Africa that is becoming worse and worse, especially as many African countries are suffering terrible drought, and people are hungry without food and money. Hungry people are desperate people, and poaching brings good money, so many local people turn to elephant poaching.

Current estimates say that more than 40,000 elephants were killed last year. How to stop this slaughter?

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