The Plight of the Elephant

What is more important: an ancient art form, or a survival of a species?

The world’s elephant population is at its lowest in recorded history, with 12% of elephants killed for their tusks in 2012 alone. Some scientists predict that if this trend continues, elephants might be extinct in the wild in as little as a decade.

A National Geographic investigation, headed by Brian Christie, traces the supply chain of the global illegal ivory trade. Following a three-year probe, Christie concludes that China is the biggest villain when it comes to illegal ivory trade.

Praised as a status symbol for over 2,000 years, a demand for ivory has exploded in the burgeoning Chinese economy. Some 83% of China’s huge middle-class intends to buy ivory products in the future, some of which are valued in the millions of dollars.

On August 12, World Elephant Day, we ask you to consider what is more important: an ancient art form, or the survival of a species?

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

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