I was pretty stoked to see that as of this year, trade in ivory and ivory products are now illegal in China – one of the world’s biggest ivory markets. Now, I’m not stupid, so I know that doesn’t mean it will halt completely, but it’s a pretty awesome step forward when you consider the plight of our planet’s elephants.
The statistics are pretty fucking ridiculous.
According to National Geographic, 100,000 African elephants were killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012. We’re talking about an animal that’s down to about 400,000, from a century ago when there were more than five million. What the actual fuck, right?
Even now, with increased conservation efforts, and more poachers being stopped, about 35,000 African elephants are killed each year. You don’t have to be Maryam Mirzakhani to do the math on that one… They don’t breed like rabbits, they breed like, well, elephants – which means they’re pregnant for about 95 weeks before giving birth! Eek! – so at this rate they simply can’t survive that sort of decline in numbers and they’ll all be gone soon if we don’t get serious about saving them.
The Chinese ban is a good start. But more needs to be done. Much more. For starters, we need to make sure the Chinese market doesn’t just shift to nearby countries. We need to make sure we do more to protect their environment. The list goes on. 🙁
For now, the 34 Chinese processing enterprises and 143 designated trading venues, have gone. Yay! And fuck those people for doing it in the first place. Humans can be so shit sometimes.
Sorry to be a bit of a Debbie Downer, but let’s not forget there’s no similar ban on rhino horn. During 2012, 668 rhinos were killing in South Africa alone – that’s one every 13 hours! Crazy stuff! In the last six years demand for rhino horn from places like Vietnam is on the rise so surely we can do something about that as well while we’re at it. Come on Vietnam, get with the program. (If you really have problems being possessed by the devil, maybe you could try a regular exorcism without the rhino horn… just a suggestion. Idiots.) Overall black rhino populations declined by an estimated 97% between 1960 and 1994 with less than 2,500 rhinos left at that point. The Northern White Rhino was even worse off and was declared extinct in 2011. Fuck.
For now, let’s celebrate a bit of good news though… and here’s to there being more of it before it’s too late for all these awesome creatures.
Stay tuned for a new product or two we have planned this year to support elephant conservation around the world.