The CITES conference opened in Bangkok on March 3 with a pledge by Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to end Thailand’s domestic ivory trade. Could this be a small victory for elephants? Maybe.
The insatiable demand for ivory in China is creating a poaching frenzy in Africa that is bringing the elephants to extinction quicker than we think. Why should we care?
For most of us in the Western world, the first time we would’ve seen an elephant was likely in a circus or a zoo. But what we were never told is how the elephant, a wild animal that roams the jungles and savannah of lands far away, got to be in the zoo or the circus in the first place. It’s time to return elephants to their natural role in the forest before it’s too late for the elephants and the forests. Join us on World Elephant Day August 12th to find out how.
Somchai is one of the elephants in Sims and Clark’s 30-minute film “Return to the Forest” which premieres on www.worldelephantday.org August 12, 2012, which is the first World Elephant Day. The film is narrated by actor William Shatner.
The world is running out of elephants, both in the wild and in captivity. In Thailand it’s estimated that overall the population is decreasing by 3.5% per year – which means that in 30 years there will be no elephants left in the land of elephants. But, there are some people who are trying to do something about it, before it’s too late.
It’s not easy to be an elephant these days. African elephants are threatened by the relentless poaching frenzy that is slaughtering over 100 elephants per day throughout Africa. Asian elephants, are critically endangered by rapid habitat loss, causing them to raid croplands in search of food, leading to deadly conflicts with humans, poaching, or capture, and a life of captivity in zoos, tourist shows or logging camps. For us, life as a human is challenging enough. But for elephants, is there any hope?