On October 4th, my family took part in the Global March for the Elephants and Rhinos. We had a total of around 75 participants this year! For me, this was exhilarating!… In Columbus, our protest groups have been much smaller than this. Even last years group for this same event was only a fraction of the size (maybe 15-20 people). There’s no doubt that the women who organized this event worked really hard to make this march extremely successful.
So, here we were…. all 75 of us… men, women, and children in downtown Columbus on a chilly wet Saturday afternoon. Again, being the voice for the voiceless… being a part of a global march against the ivory trade… with our baby elephant sculpture in tow. This baby represents all of the orphans that are left by poachers. You can foster a baby elephant through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
|Baby Elephant sculpture|
|Group picture of people and their signs. Co-Organizers Shelly is on the far left with the sign, “Stop the Bloody Ivory Trade” and Tiffany on the far right with the bull horn. I love these ladies!|
The statistics of elephant poaching is truly horrifying. It is said that in just three years, approximately 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers. That’s approximately one killed every 15 minutes. Worse yet, at this current death rate we will see the extinction of African Elephants by 2020. All of this poaching is fueled by the ivory trade. To think that we may see the loss of these majestic animals due to ivory trinkets sold in Asia, most notably in China is so disheartening… The current demand of ivory is greater then what the population of elephants can sustain. Worse yet, the consequence of their extinction will vastly effect the entire ecosystem of the savannahs.
African elephants are a keystone species. This means that their extinction would dramatically alter the entire ecosystem. Their extinction would cause a total collapse of the current flora and fauna that exist in the grasslands. Elephants are responsible for maintaining the grasslands by consuming the small trees and knocking down larger tress that grow within. Without the elephants, the trees would be left unchecked and would overgrow the area. This overgrowth would convert the savannahs to either a forest or into shrub lands. The problem with this lies in the other animals who rely on the savannah for food, such as the grazers (antelope and zebras) and their predators (hyenas and lions). So, the future of grasslands and the animals are all dependent on the survival of the elephants.
If you are interested in this movement, there are things that you can do. Support groups that are working to end the poaching of elephants and other animals such as rhinos. Sign petitions. Speak out. Write your own article. Write your government officials. Tell your friends. Tell your family…. and of course… do not buy ANY ivory, and boycott any and all stores that sell it.