Elephants are truly marvelous creatures. As the largest land animals on the planet they surely are hard to miss. The African variant grows up to 13 feet from shoulder to toe while the smaller of the species, but not necessarily small by our standards, the Asian Elephant stands at 9.8 feet tall when fully grown. Here is some reasons why elephants are going extinct.
Although they are wild animals, elephants have shown the capability to interact well with human beings. In countries like India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand, elephants have traditionally been semi-domesticated and have been used as beasts of burden. Their tusks, I mean, tasks, involve clearing forests, carrying passengers and heaving heavy loads. Africa Elephants in the meantime have a long history with humans having been used as war tanks by several historical figures like Hannibal.
Our days of marveling at this magnificent animal may be numbered, sad to say. Both variants of elephants are close to extinction with populations in countries with elephants dwindling by the tens of thousands per month. Causes for extinction among many animals are numerous. Some species lose their food supply and are too slow to adapt. Other species have their habitats transformed around them and they struggle to survive this. Species of long ago, like the dinosaurs, were hit hard by an asteroid. But the reason behind the dwindling elephant population is a major concern for alarm.
The glorious elephant is facing a threat from mankind, our own species, us. Hundreds of thousands of elephants are being illegally poached. They are hunted and killed not for food but for their tusks. Their tusks have long been considered as highly valued and have been used for jewelry, accessories and as a compliment to luxury items. This desire for ivory, the material their tusks are made of, is a result of human avarice and greed. The ban on ivory trade in 1989 only made these items more desirable in the black market and made the incentive for killing elephants more lucrative.
If the current trends in elephant hunting continue, experts believe we will soon lose these animals in the wild within this generation. This means our children and our grandchildren will never enjoy seeing an elephant in the wild. Elephants can only reproduce at a rate of 5% per year; this doesn’t even factor in calf mortality in that statistic. The amount of elephants being killed by poachers is at an astounding 5% per year effectively causing the negative tipping point we are at right now.
It is still not too late to save our gargantuan friends from ceasing to exist. Several conservation efforts are underway to provide sanctuary to these elephants. These sanctuaries are protected areas that are patrolled intensely to ensure poachers do not harm the elephants. The sanctuaries also work on breeding techniques to get the birth rate up to more sustainable numbers. With these pockets of solitude in place at least we can be assured that one of our planet’s treasures will have a fighting chance.
However, these conservation efforts do not come cheap and they work purely on a nonprofit system to maximize the spirit of human compassion and volunteerism. We can do our share of helping them out by providing financial support to them. One great way to reach out to them is by patronizing brands that help endangered animals. Our brand Endangered Apparel is a clothing company that seeks to help animals that are approaching extinction has an Elephant clothing line that has Elephant shirt designs that are very classy and true to the cause. 20% of our profit goes to the Elephant Sanctuary. This sanctuary located in Tennessee is the nation’s largest elephant refuge strategically placed in the heartland of America specifically to keep the elephants as far away from poachers as possible. Let’s do our fair share and help our giant friends out.