According to nonprofit wildlife conservation organization Defenders of Wildlife, planet Earth was home to roughly several million African elephants and approximately 100,000 Asian elephants, the only two species of elephants in the world.
Today, statistics suggest anywhere between just 450,000 and 700,000 African elephants and 35,000 to 40,000 of their Asian counterparts exist on the face of planet Earth.
While some animal populations naturally die out, as many have throughout the history of Earth, the driving factor behind the rapid death of both Asian and African elephants over the past century-plus is poaching. Some elephants are legally hunted, though the vast majority of the majestic, intelligent, several-ton-heavy beasts are killed illegally – the very definition of poaching.
Elephants are sought-after for their exotic skin, tusks, and bodies, which are often mounted by wealthy hunters around the world. Traditionally, societies across the Asian mainland believe that derivates of elephants offer countless health benefits, ranging from the pseudoscientific ability to cure cancer, all the way down to mitigating a simple cold (which is also pseudoscientific, or false).
Here’s What’s New In The World Of Elephant Conservation
If elephants could watch the news, they’d be going into hiding right about now. Why?
The United States government, under control of current President Donald J. Trump, recently made legal the importation of elephant tropics hunted for sport – that means killing innocent, docile animals for purposes other than survival, population control, and true self-defense.
Although United States citizens are not able to bring back such trophies of elephants from every country, the Trump administration recently made it legal to export such goods from these select countries on the African continent back to the United States, but only if such hunters were legal United States citizens in the first place.
Many United States citizens, alongside anybody else that tracks American politics and news, in general, are dismayed that Donald Trump had acted in opposition of his previous verbal condemnation of the practice of elephant trophy hunting – hunting for sport to take pictures with such animals, and bring the entirety or parts of their carcasses back to America – as being a “horror show.”
Here’s Where Trophy Hunters Can Bring Back Dead Elephants From
Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana are the six countries listed in a memorandum penned by the Principal Deputy Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service on March 1, 2018.