Pink tusks aren't real, but still help combat hunting of elephants for ivory
By Gary Lindner
Director Planet Sanctuary
Some times all you need to do is out think your opponent. In this case of poaching and specifically illegal ivory poachers is to destroy there merchandise without hurting the animal. Who knows how many animals can and will be saved by this practice of discoloring the ivory and ultimately ruining the product. This is far from a solution to the poaching problem in Kruger national park but it can be a deterent. The only long term solution to eradicating poaching is to educate the people of the region so they understand that protecting the wildlife of Africa is more valuable to them then the benefit that a few ivory poachers gain destroying what makes Africa so amazing. Here is an article that goes into more detail on what is involved in combating the poachers. PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEOS. IF SOMETHING IS NOT DONE THIS WILL BE THE END TO THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT AND RHINO! AND SOONER NOT LATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This pink elephant can’t be blamed on a drunken hallucination, though wildlife conservationists might suggest a certain level of intoxication to those who think their pink tusks could be real.
Reports abound online regarding elephant tusks being painted pink in an effort to devalue the ivory for poachers. A Facebook post, Stain Tusks to Stop Elephant Poaching, includes a photo of an elephant with pink tusks, but goes on to explain that the photo has been altered. The author then suggests that even though the photo is a fake, the notion of staining tusks should be explored in an effort to stop the killing of innocent elephants in Africa.
But wildlife conservationists say painting elephant tusks is hardly feasible for animals in the wild.
“The idea is impractical to impossible on a field-level scale because of the sheer logistics and cost to implement,” says Anne Lambert of the International Conservation Fund of Canada, a charity that focuses on global conservation work. “Darting and applying dye to elephants would involve a huge cost and stress and risk to elephants. And even if achievable on a small, enclosed population, poaching pressure would just be diverted elsewhere.”
While painting elephant tusks is highly improbable, Hern applauds people for inventing ways to think about poaching more actively and creatively.
“Poaching syndicates are extremely innovative in how they market their illegal products,” she says. “We need to start employing the same tactics in our attempts to counter their efforts. Even a seemingly impractical idea may just be the spark someone needs to come up with something that does work. The problem is out of control, which means the solution can probably only be found outside the box.”
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an international NGO that focuses on conservation and the environment, elephant herds have shrunken by 50 per cent since 1979 due to unmonitored domestic ivory markets that fuel the illegal international trade. It is reported that as many as 35,000 elephants are killed each year in Africa.
The biggest threat facing African rhinos is poaching for the illegal trade in their horns. Used for everything from cures for hangovers to cancer, rhino horn is a common ingredient in traditional Asian medicines. Fueled largely by Vietnamese demand, rhino horn is also considered a symbol of wealth. The number of rhinos poached in South Africa has increased by 9,000 per cent since 2007, from 13 to a record 1,215 in 2014.
The WWF doesn’t endorse horn infusion due to its impracticality, says Dr. Colman O’Criodain, a wildlife trade specialist with WWF.
“The reason we didn’t endorse this method is because simply in order to do that you have to dart and anesthetize the rhino,” he says. “Most of the poaching is happening in Kruger National Park and that’s the size of Wales and it’s just not practical. Not to mention the fact that in a matter of time they would have babies and you’d have to do it again.”
Fighting the illegal trade of ivory and rhino horn involves tactics that include stepping up enforcement on poachers and smugglers as well as educating consumers about the disadvantages of purchasing these products. The WWF is also working toward a fourth pillar that raises the profile of wildlife crime.
“Any other kind of organized crime involving the amounts of money that are at stake in ivory and rhino smuggling would be a national concern for security reasons,” says O’Criodain. “So we’re not asking people necessarily to up the effort simply because we love rhinos and elephants, which we do and because they contribute to biodiversity and to eco-system health, we’re doing this also because we believe it’s a security issue.”
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