Elephant Poaching Research Paper

856 Words 4 Pages
Since 1997, people in Africa and other countries around the world, have been poaching elephants for the ivory in their tusks. Every year it is estimated that over 100,000 elephants are killed and every kill brings elephants close to extinction, which is why there should be stricter consequences for poaching.
Currently, in countries around the world, there is a ban and set consequences for the trade of ivory, yet there is no law specifically illegalizing the killing of the elephants. Therefore, trophy hunters, who are interested in the size of the kill rather than the value of the ivory, feel no consequence in taking the life of an elephant. For example, In 2015, CNN put out an article about a German man who went to Zimbabwe and
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There are many different punishments that have been established to help stop the poaching of elephants, but many times consequences are not followed through due to lack of authority or corruption from within. One consequence that poachers face is prison time. The Times put out an article stating that “Poachers caught slaughtering Kenya’s most endangered animals are set to face life in prison, in a dramatic change to lenient existing laws” (Hammer). If this is true then why aren't we hearing about poachers being thrown in jail, but instead we keep hearing about the countless elephants that have been killed throughout the years. Another strategy that tends to backfire is making the sale of ivory illegal. This, in turn, creates a black market that encourages criminals to engage in high priced illegal trades that lines the pockets of criminals. The article, “Africa’s Anti-Poaching Problem” by Andrew Wyatt explains how these criminals then grow rich and become sophisticated and can spend large sums, obtaining armies and equipment that makes it difficult to catch and arrest them. In fact, they’ve been known to kill park rangers who try to stop them from …show more content…
While this might sound crazy, making the sale of ivory legal could have a drastic impact on how many elephants are killed a year. Legalizing ivory will make it less desirable to poachers because they won’t be able to achieve the thrill they get when killing the elephants. Andrew Wyatt stated in his article “Africa’s Anti-Poaching Problem” that “South African officials argue that a legal trade would take profits away from criminal syndicates. Just as taxes on cigarettes fund education and health programs in the United States, similar levies on ivory would also provide ample funds for campaigns to combat poaching and reduce demand”(Wyatt). Typically, if a ban is lifted, a product becomes less desirable.
Meanwhile; instead of killing elephants for their ivory, a simple veterinary procedure can be performed to humanely remove the tusks, leaving the animal alive and unharmed. Since cultural beliefs and practices regarding the use of ivory and its historically sacred value are not going to go away, this option should not be overlooked. Supply and demand for ivory could still be met without compromising the life of the elephant; thus preserving the population. With so many viable options to sustainable ivory, it’s hard to understand why illegal poaching

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