Is It Too Late? Global Action Against Ivory & Rhino Horn Trade
by emill8 on April 17, 2015 - 11:10pm
In my last blog post I focused on outlining the causes for the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn. Since then, it is with a heavy heart that I must inform those of you whom aren't aware, that the planet's last remaining Northern White rhino resides in Kenya and is guarded by armed rangers 24/7 (Mosbergen 2015). Let that sink in for a minute. One of the planet's few megaherbivores has his own armed body guards who have a shoot to kill policy for anyone who intends to cause harm to him and risk their own lives in the process of protecting him. ISN'T THIS INSANE!? It blows my mind that it has come to this where NOW the last remaining male of his own kind has been put under this kinda of security to protect him and the potential future of his species. However, not all have lost hope yet. It's hoped that one day he will be able to procreate and save his species from extinction. There are only 4 remaining female Northern White rhinos remaining in the world too, which doesn't allow this big buy to be choosy, but then again, he's already under enough pressure since he is, well, the only remaining male of his kind left...in the world.
Photo: Huffington Post, 2015
However, not all hope is lost! There's actually a Wild African Elephant and White Rhino semen bank in South Africa where they have and continue to collect specimens, freeze in liquid nitrogen, and send to Europe where they're then carefully sent out to zoos for their "artificial procedures" (WAZA). That's a whole other story right there, but something that I felt should be noted to give a glimmer of hope.
On the other hand, the crisis with elephants (although looking grim as well) is actually being dealt with..slowly but surely, too. Many states have passed stricter regulations on the sale of ivory within US borders. However, just recently, more and more states are realizing the importance of pushing this issue and calling for a complete ban of the sale and import of ivory and rhino horn (Elephants DC 2015). Realizing the link betweek our nation's security and creating laws to help protect our wildlife, the states have been stepping up to the plate. This article that I've cited, "Is Ivory Trading Legal in Your State," outlines everything better than I can as I write this late at night. So I'll encourage you to read this brief article at: https://www.thedodo.com/community/elephantsdc/ivory-bans-sweep-the-nation-1020446911.html. But in a very small nut shell, the US is stepping up to our global obligation to help protect the world's dwindling wild elephant and rhino populations. Way to go.
And in the end, as with anything really, it all comes down to education. However, at this point, it's just one huge mess. But I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes that sums it up:
"In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."
~ Baba Dioum, Senegalese poet
Elephants DC. 2015. Is Ivory Trading Legal In Your State? The Dodo. [Online.] Available at: https://www.thedodo.com/community/elephantsdc/ivory-bans-sweep-the-nation-1020446911.html.
Mosbergen, Dominique. 2015. World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Placed Under 24-Hour Armed Guard In Kenya. The Huffington Post. [Online.] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/14/northern-white-rhino-sudan-armed-guard-kenya_n_7059682.html.
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. African Elephant and White Rhino Semen Bank. [Online.] Avaiable at: http://www.waza.org/en/site/conservation/waza-conservation-projects/overview/african-elephant-and-white-rhino-semen-bank.