01 April 2013

32,000 African Forest Elephants were illegally slaughtered for ivory in 2012

Yes, we have to believe the unbelievable. There are many conservation teams working to save elephants in Africa, still the poaching is not controlled. Below are few reports on this issue.

‘Gang of eight’ on ivory probation

The worst offending countries in the ivory trade have been given a strict deadline to reduce their involvement or face sanctions.

The decision taken at the final meeting of the Cites conference in Bangkok is meant to compel countries like China and Thailand to tougher action.

But some campaigners say Cites is failing to protect elephants and want more urgent action.

Elephant Poaching Pushes Species To Brink Of Extinction

A new study of Central African forest elephants has found their numbers down by 62 percent between 2002 and 2011. The study comes as governments and conservationists meet in Thailand to amend the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

African forest elephants have been in trouble for a while, but only now have scientists figured out that more than half of them have died over the past decade. It took hundreds of researchers nine years, walking literally thousands of miles, counting piles of elephant dung as well as elephant carcasses stripped of their ivory tusks, to realize that the majority of the dead had been shot.

New Promises Follow Elephant Slaughter in Chad and Cameroon

In the aftermath of the largest elephant poaching episode thus far in 2013, Central African governments met to coordinate and adopt an emergency plan to combat the killings. But is it too little, too late?

On March 14-15, at least 86 elephants were killed in Tikem, near Fianga in the Mayo Kebbi East region of southwestern Chad, close to the Cameroon border. Among the victims were more than 30 pregnant females, many of which aborted their calves when they were shot. The calves were left to die, and reportedly some were shot. It’s too sickening to even comprehend.

Thai ivory trade criticized before wildlife conference

BANGKOK (AP) — You can buy it freely in urban markets and rural stalls set up at elephant shows in Thailand every day: ivory, carved into everything from intricate statuettes of the pachyderm-headed Hindu deity Ganesh that go for more than $1,000 a piece to tiny tusk pendants worth less than $10.

But the thriving trade here, conservationists say, is helping fuel the unprecedented slaughter of elephants thousands of miles away in Africa, where the largest land mammals on earth are facing their worst poaching epidemic in decades. It's a crisis so grave experts now believe more are being killed than are being born.

How to slow the slaughter and curb the trade in "blood ivory" will be among the most critical issues up for debate at the 177-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, that gets under way Sunday in Bangkok. And the meeting's host, Thailand, will be under particular pressure to take action.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton has dedicated his life to elephants. “I like elephants because of the way they treat each other,” he says. “They’re very nice to each other most of the time, but not all the time ... You see a lot of play...a lot of tender touching, caressing, tactile contact of one sort or another.”

The affection goes both ways. Douglas-Hamilton recalls one curious female who would always approach his vehicle. “Eventually I got so friendly with her that...I could walk with her and feed her the fruits of the wild gardenia tree. That was a very special elephant for me. She eventually brought her babies up to meet me.”

Slaughter of the African Elephants

THERE is nothing a mother elephant will not do for her infant, but even she cannot protect it from bullets. About a year ago, poachers attacked a family of forest elephants in central Africa. The biologist who witnessed the attack told us that wildlife guards were completely outgunned. In the end, an elephant mother, riddled with bullets and trumpeting with pain and fear, was left to use her enormous body to shield her baby. Her sacrifice was for naught; the baby was also killed.