Is anyone not watching footie? If so, here’s a post on conservation.
There’s nothing that will stop ivory poachers—even the international ban imposed in 1989. I wish there were some way for authorities de-tusk elephants while they were alive, but that’s not on. And so we mourn the death of Satao, described by CNN as one of Kenya’s “most beloved elephants.”
Satao was doomed simply because his front teeth were so big. From CNN:
Poachers killed one of Kenya’s most beloved elephants — a behemoth animal with tusks so large, they touched the ground.
Satao was shot with poisoned arrows in the sprawling Tsavo National Park in the country’s southeast.
Wildlife officials found his carcass with two massive holes where his tusks once stood. His face was so badly mutilated, authorities used other ways to identify him, including his ears and the pattern of mud caked on his body.
“Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher’s poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries. A great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantlepiece,” Tsavo Trust said in statement late Friday. “Rest in peace, old friend, you will be missed.”
. . . Satao was about 45 years old, and a hit among visitors at the national park, where understaffed conservationists monitored him regularly to protect him from poachers.
“When he was alive, his enormous tusks were easily identifiable, even from the air,” said Tsavo Trust, a non-profit that protects wildlife.
An editorial by Rob Portman (a Republican Senator from Ohio) at CNN outlines the seriousness of the problem, and gives some suggestions, which you can read at the site.
The largest slaughter in one year since the 1989 ban was passed happened in 2012, with up to 35,000 elephants killed. This adds up to nearly 100 a day. Tens of thousands are killed every year. Without action, the day may come when this magnificent creature is known only in history books.
Estimates say if elephants continue to be slaughtered at today’s rates, the creatures could be extinct in a decade.Not only do elephants die. The wildlife rangers who try to protect them from poachers are being killed.
I had no idea 100 elephants were poached each day. I suppose the poachers might be driven by their own starvation, but I can’t imagine killing such a magnificent beast just for two front teeth. Indeed, for any reason.