Poaching is decimating our world’s last population of elephants—to the extent that if the killing continues at the current level, elephants could be extinct ion 10 years. At least 25,000 elephants in Africa are said to have been killed in 2011—but the real number may be closer to 50,000. It was their worst year in two decades. Elephant poaching is currently at its highest levels in years, fueled by an insatiable greed. The price for ivory has skyrocketed. High demand for ivory in Asia, and China in particular, mostly for use in religious relics and sculptures, is the primary culprit. In order to change the conception that this is acceptable, please visit www.savetheelephants.org and the Wildlife Conservation Society at www.wcs.org and look up “Battle for the Elephants,” a one-hour National Geographic documentary which recently aired on PBS. How we treat endangered species on our planet is a direct indication of where we are going as a global society. When we allow a keystone species like elephants to be decimated, the integrity of entire ecosystems follows a similar path. If you feel powerless to the slaughter, you are not. Call your representatives in Washington at (202) 224-3121 to say that you support the U.S. efforts to aid in conservation of wildlife and wild lands in Africa. Please spread the word.
Ashley McAvey , Master of Environmental Management, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Shelburne