Friday, July 31, 2015

And Now About the Elephants

As the uproar over the dentist killing Cecil the lion welled into a mob, five elephants were killed for their tusks in Kenya.

According to the Washington Post,

In recent years, the poaching of elephants has increased exponentially because of the demand for ivory in Asia, where it's used for unproven medicinal purposes. Between 2010 and 2012, poachers killed more than 100,000 African elephants — a level of destruction that put the species on the road to extinction. Unlike many other animals, elephants mourn the death of their brethren, wrapping their trunks around the bones or carcasses of the deceased.

While the African lion population is also under threat, it is largely because their habitats are being destroyed by farmers and developers, not because the animals are hunted.
Elephants have friends. They can differentiate human languages and voices. Nobody has any business killing them.

There's a bit of good news about elephants, generally, though not for these five who were killed:
Kenyan authorities say they were making progress in the fight against poachers before the recent killing at Tsavo. Last year, the government deployed 550 new rangers. Advances in technology have allowed researchers to monitor herds using GPS trackers, gauging when they might be under threat based on their movement and speed.

“We’ve increased our intelligence and our operations. We were having success,” Gathitu said. “That’s why we’re so surprised.”
I wonder if Dr. Palmer has killed an elephant?

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