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Elephants Are Being Born Without Tusks & Its Our Fault


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#1 riseabovethought

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 11:07 AM

The world’s African elephants are in serious danger. It is estimated that one is killed every 15 minutes for their ivory tusks, and if we do nothing to put an end to the illegal ivory trade, elephants will be extinct from the wild within in the next 20 years. Elephants have graced the planet for thousands of years and their loss would inextricably alter their native habitat. While countries like the U.S. and China have taken action to try and mitigate the illegal ivory trade, it appears that this action is not moving quickly enough to save the world’s elephants – however, there is a new form of hope rising from nature itself.

 

African elephants are being born without the tusks that poachers have targeted for decades. That’s right, the largest land mammal on earth is now being born tuskless since elephants without tusks have a better chance of surviving and passing on genes.

In Addo Elephant National Park, in South Africa as many as 98 percent of female elephants no longer have tusks; this follows a massacring of the creatures by poachers in 1931, which left only 11 elephants remaining, four of them tuskless.

The depressing adaptation has arisen at a time where elephants are in serious danger of extinction.

shutterstock_108836006.jpgJONATHAN PLEDGER/Shutterstock

 

The vitally important Great Elephant Census revealed that almost a third of African elephants were wiped out between 2007 and 2014 alone for the sake of ivory. The detailed survey took count of carcasses and found the highest occurrences in Cameroon (83 percent),

 

Mozambique (32 percent), Angola (30 percent) and Tanzania (26 percent). The report states that carcass ratios above eight percent are enough to indicate poaching at a serious level, enough to bring about a decline in population. The situation is so bleak, that these intelligent giants have even been observed attempting to hide their tusks.

So, is it a good thing if they don’t have tusks, to stop poachers from killing and robbing them?

shutterstock_203562340.jpgDonovan van Staden/Shutterstock

 

It is never acceptable for a creature to lose its natural habitat or the opportunity to interact with that habitat in an instinctive way. Elephant tusks are not there for table ornaments or piano keys; they are needed to dig for sustenance, to fight, to move around trees and of course, for sexual display. An elephant’s tusks are a key part of elephant life, not to mention the entire ecosystem that surrounds them.

 

Many believe that a poacher could extract ivory without killing the elephant – this is not true. Only two-thirds of an elephant’s tusks are visible, the rest lies beneath the surface like an iceberg in water. The tusk is not just bone but rather it is alive, filled with nerves and blood vessels and when broken off, the tusks would likely become infected and lead to a slow and painful death.

 

Fearing for the survival of “great tuskers” in particular, scientists have attempted to preserve these mighty-tusked bulls by extracting and freezing the elephant’s seed – in hopes of reintroducing “tusker genetics” if necessary in future.

 

The good news from the Great Elephant Census is that it has raised awareness of those areas that need the most pressure and support to crack down on illegal poaching. As well as this, it revealed some places that were doing a much better job protecting the animals and their habitat, including Kenya, where former poachers have been hired as park rangers to defend elephants. Faced with the strong possibility of losing elephants to extinction, action is needed globally to put a stop to the ivory trade and it’s in our power to make this happen by cutting demand and raising awareness, particularly with big consumers like China.

 

Ivory poachers are not the only danger faced by elephants today, and groups like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Born Free need support more than ever to create a safe world where elephants can live in harmony with humans, tusks and all.

http://www.onegreenp...-without-tusks/


Edited by riseabovethought, 29 December 2016 - 11:08 AM.

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#2 happy4nic8r

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 12:33 PM

They should give the giant tusker seed to the poachers and induce large tusks on them so they would become the hunted for their ivory.

 

Turnabout is fair play?


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#3 Myc

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 05:34 PM

I was thinking more along the lines of issuing big game hunting permits to hunt and kill - poachers. 

There are certainly some folks who would pay some serious cash to hunt a foe who could potentially shoot back. 


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#4 OysterFarmer

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 05:43 PM

I was thinking more along the lines of issuing big game hunting permits to hunt and kill - poachers. 

There are certainly some folks who would pay some serious cash to hunt a foe who could potentially shoot back. 

 

This was actually done twenty years ago.  Don't know what happened to the program but I'm sure someone got ass hurt or something.  Or more likely people just started offing their neighbors and claiming they were poachers.

 

It really is senseless especially in this day and age of synthetic materials which are far better than ivory anyways.

 

And you know what is at the root of the issue like most human woes is just pure population pressure.  People simply can't keep having so many kids and yet that is the one issue no one is willing to address.  At all.


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#5 Alder Logs

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 09:22 PM

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Edited by Alder Logs, 29 December 2016 - 09:34 PM.


#6 August West

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 02:39 AM

 


Elephants Are Being Born Without Tusks & Its Our Fault

 

 

I don't hunt elephants. I'd like to remove my name from the "our" list.

 

 

 

And you know what is at the root of the issue like most human woes is just pure population pressure.  People simply can't keep having so many kids and yet that is the one issue no one is willing to address.  At all.

 

I think there's a real possibility that what you're attempting to describe stem from "lifestyle" choices not population numbers.


Edited by August West, 30 December 2016 - 02:43 AM.


#7 riseabovethought

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:19 AM

You allowed it August.  & I will never forgive you for that.  Just kidding.  But I never went and collected a bunch of poacher thumbs like I had planned.  Perhaps I put it off too long.  



#8 August West

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:32 AM

Maybe you could divert some of the tusk market into a poacher-thumb necklace market?


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#9 Myc

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:33 AM

I actually made that statement - tongue-in-cheek.

 

A careful review of articles regarding poaching reveals that poverty is what drives the desperate move to slaughter animals - any animal - for "parts". These guys are trying to keep their families from starving. Local warlords, "terrorists", and other un-focused groups with military grade firepower are the wholesale level buyers and distributors. 

 

There really is no "solution" to this problem. 

The poor and destitute have no problem breeding in their spare time. (Nor do any of us for that matter - so as not to single out a specific group.)



#10 riseabovethought

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:47 AM

^Interesting point.  I wondered about the genesis of the poacher, and didnt go far enough.  So one would have to exterminate poverty to save the elephants, rhinos, and tigers from extinction?  Well, it'd actually be easy if it were important at all to the richest humans alive.  And that tells you where we are headed.  The same people who could fix it, caused it, yet we dont hold them responsible, even when a well- deserved monopoly fine could fix it.  That makes it our fault again, eh?

 

But its too many steps, so they get away again with all the profits that mighta gone to lift up the poor.  And thats gone on for so long now that we've eaten our own tail, it would seem.  We are perhaps already going through a mass extinction.  I still feel like placing blame.  But its probably too little too late.


Edited by riseabovethought, 30 December 2016 - 11:59 AM.

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#11 Alder Logs

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:32 PM

I have told the story here a long time ago, and I forget where the thread was, but I got brutally attacked by poachers here for writing a letter to the editor in complaint about their practices.  I was beaten and told I was being taken out to the woods to be killed.  That was pleasant.  So, our impoverished, animal parts market serving, poachers here need a few more bucks to upgrade their 4X4s and get new guns and two-way radios.    Maybe it's different in Africa.   It's mainly the Chinese who drive the big money animal parts market, but here we also have the kids of the one percent of the one percent who decide to call themselves "sportsmen" and use their disposable wealth to play great white hunter.   

 

And then, there's this: http://www.truth-out...deral-warehouse


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#12 OysterFarmer

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 04:45 PM

^Interesting point.  I wondered about the genesis of the poacher, and didnt go far enough.  So one would have to exterminate poverty to save the elephants, rhinos, and tigers from extinction?  Well, it'd actually be easy if it were important at all to the richest humans alive.  And that tells you where we are headed.  The same people who could fix it, caused it, yet we dont hold them responsible, even when a well- deserved monopoly fine could fix it.  That makes it our fault again, eh?

 

But its too many steps, so they get away again with all the profits that mighta gone to lift up the poor.  And thats gone on for so long now that we've eaten our own tail, it would seem.  We are perhaps already going through a mass extinction.  I still feel like placing blame.  But its probably too little too late.

The succesful markets in Africa at least have been to give jobs to people to work in animal parks who are visited by tourists who dump their cash.


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#13 Myc

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:25 PM

That really is one of the alternative answers. Create jobs and promote tourism. This is a difficult task in some countries due to instability - aka the unfocused groups with military grade firepower.

 

Recently, I went and searched diligently for any instances of officials allowing the hunting of poachers. No articles were returned. I did find a number of articles on poaching and measures which were being taken in various countries in an attempt to turn the tide.

While reading, I found that rhinos and tigers are at the top of the list as "desirable".

Poaching rhinos fell easily into the same category as poaching elephants. It seems the poachers have to go the them.

Big cats, on the other hand, are trying to hunt in a shrinking habitat. The encroachment of "civilization" is forcing more close encounters between beast and man. Some of these cats are being "poached" by farmers protecting their livestock or families. In addition, cats are nocturnal predators making the job of discovering poachers by law enforcement even more difficult. 

 

Somehow shifting demand seems to be an interesting thought. 

But I wouldn't know where to start. 


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#14 August West

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 02:02 AM

I actually made that statement - tongue-in-cheek.

 

A careful review of articles regarding poaching reveals that poverty is what drives the desperate move to slaughter animals - any animal - for "parts". These guys are trying to keep their families from starving. Local warlords, "terrorists", and other un-focused groups with military grade firepower are the wholesale level buyers and distributors. 

 

There really is no "solution" to this problem. 

The poor and destitute have no problem breeding in their spare time. (Nor do any of us for that matter - so as not to single out a specific group.)

Best beware dude, all that nuance is likely to get a fella ignored. People have chosen their sides. No need to muddle it up with context. Definitely don't mention the money brought into poor countries via hunting or that some people don't like being eaten by huge cats or lizards.


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#15 Myc

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:28 AM

I don't know why this subject hits home with me. Since I was small, I've always had a strange affinity for elephants. (???) I find myself tearing-up when reading articles about elephant slaughter. 

 

Being a former hunter - I have a different perspective simply because I was the douche-bag killing animals for sport. Then, I saw better and changed my ways. I still remember the sick thrill it gave me though so I can't just paint all "poachers" with the same brush. 

 

But yeah, I still like the cool story playing out in my head. 

Elephants with M61 Vulcan guns mounted to a saddle type carriage. Tens of thousands of rounds of ammo......

Turning entire troupes of illegal poachers into a fine red spray of gristle, hamburger, and bone fragments. 

Start a rumor that wearing a necklace of human teeth makes your pecker as hard as blue steel. I'd be interested to see where that one goes in the next thousand years or so. How many human teeth would it take to make a necklace which could encircle the neck of an elephant? Recalculate using only human canine teeth. ;) 


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#16 Alder Logs

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:25 PM

I had a close friend who was a poacher.  I had another close friend who was a sport hunter.  The poacher fed his family and wasted almost nothing.  The other man was a bird hunter.  I had seen him shoot birds and take only breasts, heart, and liver.   In the end, it was the poacher who gained my respect.  One time when I questioned all his killing of animals, he said to me, "if you eat meat and don't do your own butchering, you are just making Safeway your hired killer."  I took that to heart and started raising my own meat.  I soon found that I could not spend time with my rabbits and do the butchering.   I told the wife that if I was to be the one doing that, that she would have to do all the tending to all the stock.  She was not up for that deal so we stopped raising rabbits. 

 

But we still had goats, and I learned to really love the goats.  But if we wanted milk, half of the baby goats were going to be males, and I was obliged to take off their balls.   We had one kid goat that got pneumonia when only a few days old.  We spent alternate nights keeping the wood cook stove going all night (it was the only heat in our tiny unelectrified cabin) to keep the little guy warm, while we waited for the antibiotic shots to bring him around.  I spent many nights with that little guy on my lap.  One day, a year later, I put a .22 round into the back of his skull.  It was heartbreaking for me.  I went through similar patterns with a steer, which we sold, and hogs that we raised.  I quit raising animals that I would get to know that had no purpose in our lives except that we were going to eventually kill and eat them.

 

So, remembering my friend, still in my twenties, I became a pot hunting poacher.   I learned that incredible rush of the kill shot, after the stalking.  It took two killed deer for me to come to the end of my hunting career and become a vegetarian.   I've made it to nearly 70 years old, and I seem to be recovering from this bout of Lyme disease with the help of my vegan Chinese medicine doctor, who is nearly as old as I am and in stunningly good shape.  

 

I have heard it all, about diets, game management (how would you like to be reduced to "game?"), Darwin, and the rest.  But it was my heart that I listened to.


Edited by Alder Logs, 31 December 2016 - 12:29 PM.

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#17 Heirloom

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:31 PM

This is an example of natural selection and evolution, humans are hunting driving evolution and selection.
Humans are natural to this planet.

I love Elephants.



#18 Heirloom

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:40 PM

August  I gotta agree that people don't want to be eaten by huge cats but lizards. Sure a bite from a Komodo dragon is fatal but
I don't know of many people facing being eaten by a lizard. Humans eat more lizards per year than lizards eat people.



#19 Arathu

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 02:24 PM

A difficult situation all the way around. Years ago I fed my family in part by hunting and trapping not to mention growing a huge garden. We were living almost like homesteaders, heating with wood and coal, hunting, fishing, gardening, and foraging. No health insurance, no savings, POS pickup truck to go to a low paying "job". In this world one must still eat and provide for the clan but killing critters for tusks/fur/claws and etc. etc. doesn't seem to fit a balanced equation. I'm an omnivore I suppose by training..............I'm sure I could change if necessary but I really like deer and sheephead with garden potatoes and veggies................. and walleye, salmon, etc. etc. 

 

As long as we continue accept that "gold" is of greater value........or what ever the common accepted currency is............ than life itself and even the imbalance of quality of life mixed with human greed.............we're gonna have to deal with this. 

 

It seems to me that values and greed are the common terms here..........

 


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#20 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 05:13 PM

People can get enough salmon or potatoes, but few seem ever to get enough money.


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