Helping Nepal’s Elephant Population

MartinHarveyWWFCanon-500x330Captive elephants located in Nepal play an integral part of their economy yet they are often treated poorly and live in unsuitable conditions. Elephant Aid International is hosting the “Free The Elephants Volunteer Project”, which is funded by an American organization that condones the protection of elephants. Nepal’s elephants are used for tourism, commercial transport of goods, and park ranging. When they are not being used the elephants are shackled in tightly bound metal chains that prevent them from moving.

New Jersey’s governor Christie has signed a bill that will ban the import of elephant ivory in the state. ¬†African elephants are being slaughtered at an annual rate of 35,000 per year. Ivory trade is now 300% greater than it was in 1989 due to the expiration of a ban put in place that prohibited the sale and import of tusks.

The population of forest animals in Africa have declined by more than half in the past decade due to poachers using semi-automatic weaponry to gun them down instantly. These poor elephants do not stand a chance.

Terrorist organizations are also threatening the livelihood of elephants and local economies. Groups like Jangaweed and The Lord’s Resistance Army have colluded together to wipe out elephant populations and agressivelly import ivory into the Chinese market.

How To Win

To win the war against elephant poaching requires a coordinated  multi-level response. Law enforcement tools can help fight off poachers on the ground while better training of park rangers can ensure continued success.

If people really want to save the elephants then they need to close all Ivory markets. On average, over 60 elephants are killed per day. Legal ivory markets continue to flourish in southwestern Asia, most notable China. An analysis done by Elizabeth Bennett, VP at the WCS found that closing the markets and loopholes is the only way to fully protect elephants.

World Elephant Day

World Elephant day is on August 12th, 2014. Take the opportunity to urge supportors and educate the public not to purchase ivory or support elephant who are used in circus.