Elephant Poaching and the Illegal Ivory Trade

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The elephant population in Africa has been decimated in recent decades due to poaching to supply the illegal ivory trade. In 1989, a worldwide ban on ivory trade brought a dramatic drop in poaching, and black market prices of ivory slumped. But there have been sustained attempts to weaken the ban, and today, elephant poaching is on the rise. John Heminway, Chairman of WildlifeDirect and director/producer/writer of the National Geographic special โ€œBattle for the Elephants,โ€ and Paula Kahumbu, a wildlife conservationist, CEO of WildlifeDirect, and executive director of the Kenya Land Conservation Trust, talk about the demand for ivory and efforts to protect elephants and close down international ivory markets.


John Heminway and Paula Kahumbu

Comments [8]


Just as animals are captured to collar and trace them, why can't elephants be captured to have their tusks permanently died?

Oct. 03 2013 05:17 PM

How does destroying tons of ivory and negating the slaughter of all the elephants that grew it make things better?

It just means someone will go out and kill enough elephants to make up the loss of the stockpiled ivory.

Dye it purple or some feasible, obviously unnatural color and dump it on the market to dilute the supply and point out the destruction of life it involved.

Oct. 03 2013 01:47 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I don't think crushing the existing ivory is the answer. It should be carved into signs that have bas relief of elephants and statements on them indicating that the tusks were taken from live elephants who were tortured and killed in the taking of it.

Poachers and traffickers ought to be jailed for more than 15 years. For every two tusks, which represent one elephant, they should get 25 years. Twenty-five years for each elephant, to be served consecutively.

Oct. 03 2013 01:45 PM
eve from ny

I have an old piece of ivory, inherited, I would like to hand it in, have always wanted to be rid of it, but where do I do that?

Oct. 03 2013 01:44 PM

Thanks for having this program. Africa is far away, but ivory trinkets and "art" are all around. Dont buy them. Question their source. Giving China and Vietnam (rhino slaughter) your tourism dollars feeds the slaughter. Boycott travel there until the mentality changes.

Oct. 03 2013 01:38 PM
Joel Schwalb from Nyack, NY

While visiting Thailand two years ago I read in a Thai paper about a working elephant that was drugged over night while it's owner slept. It's tusks were removed with a saw and the owner discovered it the next morning, alive but tusk-less.

Oct. 03 2013 01:32 PM
Tess from Everywhere

Humans will be held accountable for ALL of the TORTUROUS ABUSE that we have heaped upon God's beautiful animals. God created these beautiful animals, and we have no right to ABUSE and TORTURE them--any of them.
Humans are the most horrible animal on the earth.
I encourage everyone to Pray for the Protection and Safety of All God's Animals on Earth. Pray that humans stop their torturous abuse of animals. In Jesus name. Amen.
It is now the only way. Humans don't behave properly out of instinct anymore.

Oct. 03 2013 01:29 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

You can still find plenty of Ivory on 5th Avenue and stores all over the country. Asia is bad, but we are not clean.

Oct. 03 2013 12:23 PM

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