‘Wildlife trafficking’ is not an unfamiliar phrase…but ‘Government involved in wildlife trafficking’ is definitely a head-turning factor to this story.
According to a nonprofit research group’s report that examines government collusion in wildlife trafficking, both political elites and the military are joining forces to seize the land of designated elephant communities, leaving the majestic animal in the open for poaching and trafficking.
(Image via WWF)
Zimbabwe has been facing economic difficulties recently, according to Tendai Marima in an article for ALJAZEERA called “Zimbabwe turns 34, but struggles economically”. Marima explains this this is credited to “ongoing liquidity problems in the banking sector, as well as donor and investor uncertainty of 2013’s presidential and general elections.”
Marima continues further, saying “The nation is in a period of deflation, and Faced with absence of economic growth and debt repayment problems, it might be likely that a return to the Zimbabwe dollar is inevitable.”
It is no wonder that elephant’s safe lands are being eliminated by the struggling government, considering how much elephant parts can be sold for, and the fact that China is demanding that product from Zimbabwe now.
Richard Lardner explains about how in-demand elephants are in his article, “APNewsBreak: Africa Land Grabs Endanger Elephants.” Apparently, north of Zimbabwe in central Africa, about 23,0000 elephants were killed last year. One pound of elephant tusk sells for roughly $1,500 on the black market. That price is more than double the price of last year’s, which speaks volumes of why there is such an immediate demand.
No comment has been made by their government by the way, in case you were wondering.
With the combination of Zimbabwe’s financial struggle and the value of elephant parts, it explains why elephants are so endangered of losing their bastions to the government.
What the government is doing right now is troubling for multiple reasons, especially since the elephant population is dwindling.
According to ‘The Action Blog’, a site dedicated to raising awareness of endangered animals, the existing census of African elephants is about 600,0000. In the 1980’s, there 1,000,000. Some studies indicate that by the year 2020, roaming groups will no longer exist.
That is a terrifying thought. Elephants are an exotic, wise, and beautiful addition to our wonderful planet, and the loss of them to an example of human greed would be a cruel and pitiful fate.
To get involved, make your voice heard. Perhaps visit World Wildlife Federation online, and spread the world, and donate to help support African elephant programs and to reduce conflict between human and elephant populations.