While majestic, beautiful, and one of the world’s last remaining wonders, elephants have been the victims of poaching for as long as we can remember. Sadly, the want for their ivory tusks has forced the gray-scaled creatures into near extinction. Thankfully, one major world market for the valued material has vowed to cease and desist completely and is urging other nations to do the same.
One of the largest and most populated countries in the world, China has finally announced its promise to permanently close all of its ivory-processing plants in the next 12 months. As the U.S. has already banned the production and sale of ivory, the world is hoping the close of another major market for elephant tusks will allow the animals to exist peacefully throughout Africa and Asia.
Promoters against the poaching of elephants have rightfully gained a lot of attention in the past years. So much so, that the likes of major celebrities, such as Prince Harry and former NBA star Yao Ming, became involved.
With the hopes to raise awareness about the outrageous number of ‘elephant orphans’ poaching has created, the basketball player hosted a few eye-opening documentaries. Miraculously, his plan worked! After viewing disturbing ad campaigns by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), people around the world were shocked into amazement.
“I have other material,” an ivory-carver commented. “I don’t have to use a material that takes a life.”
Facebook / Global March for Elephants and Rhinos
China’s efforts to end the heartless poachings has been labeled “the greatest single step that could be taken to reduce the poaching of elephants” by the CEO of WildAid, Peter Knight. The environmental nonprofit definitely hopes so, claiming the act could potentially keep the species from extinction.
While China’s efforts are definitely an important piece to the puzzle, animal advocates aren’t ending the fight just yet. According to a few prominent wildlife organizations, some major loopholes for poaching still exist in the legal world. Until those avenues are cut off, the gorgeous elephants are still at risk.
Thankfully, the sale price of ivory has continued to drop dramatically over the last year. After eye-opening campaigns against the heartless killings came to light, the world began to pressure Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam to follow in China’s footsteps.
The idea couldn’t have come a moment too soon. While the animals still aren’t completely safe from the world, there is quite a bit of hope for the future. One step at a time, the deadly threat against elephants is becoming a thing of the past.
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