At my tropical sanctuary, aka Barcelona Zoo are 3 elephants. They’re doing better than a few years ago and I believe this year they getting a new larger enclosure. As are the giraffes, hippos and maybe the lions. An African Savannah.
Sadly maybe one day a zoo might be the only place we get to see elephants. Wild elephant numbers are falling due to poaching for their tusks, habitat loss and human conflict. It’s estimated a 100 elephants are killed each day for their tusks. The demand for ivory is so great, there are even hunters in Siberia searching in the thawing tundra for woolly mammoth tusks (unlike elephant ivory, the sale of mammoth tusks is legal). The illegal ivory trade funds wars. Fighting the trade is a war. Park rangers are now better armed, have government support, but they face poachers more heavily armed, better equipped and with more resources. Sniffer dogs are helping combat the trade, sniffing out ivory as it’s smuggled in transit. ‘White gold‘ or ivory’s now worth more than gold.
When an elephant is poached for it’s ivory, baby elephants loose their mums, their support system. Baby elephants recuse centres like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust have baby mini matriarchs looking after even younger elephants. It’s cute, but they don’t get a baby elelphanthood. Some are so traumatised loosing their mums they don’t make it out of elephant kindergarten. All for pair of status symbol ivory chopsticks. And money. It always comes back to money.
Here’s how you can help to ensure baby elephants grow up with their mama’s, aunty’s, visiting bulls in the jungle forests or vast savannahs. Check out the WWF, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and World Elephant Day to see how.