Alison K. Michigan

Elephant Poaching

Elephants are headed toward extinction, this letter shows why we need need to inform ivory buyers of why buying ivory is so bad, set stricter poaching laws, and and stop using ivory for selfish human matters.

Dear Future President,

Have you ever been to the zoo and seen the elephants? They’re pretty amazing animals. Do you own any ivory figurines or trinkets? Did you know that ivory comes from the tusks of an elephant and these elephant’s population is deteriorating? The elephant population is declining by about 25.000 each year due to illegal poaching, this pushing them closer and closer to extinction. As the president of our country, you could stop this. Due to the tremendous amount of elephants being killed every year, we need to inform ivory buyers of what poaching is causing, set stricter poaching laws, and stop the use of elephant tusks for selfish human matters.

In order to decrease the amount of elephant poaching, something needs to be done to inform the people in China (one of the world's largest ivory markets) of why poaching and buying ivory is so awful. There’s a large demand for ivory in China which leads to a large mass of elephants being slaughtered in Africa. According to NPR news, “there’s always been ivory poaching in Africa but after a ban in 1989, the trade diminished. Now though, the numbers have exploded, Some of 25,000 African elephants are being killed every year, and forest elephants living in the heart of the forest are really getting hammered. The big contributor to the uptick in elephant killing is huge spikes in demand for the ivory in China, where new wealth means more people can buy ivory.” This is showing that China is a big contributor to the decline in elephant population and it’s leading more and more deaths of elephants in Africa. If we do something to supervise the ivory entering China to help catch these people it could put a stop to some of the elephant poaching to defend these animals and stop them from going extinct.

We need to set stricter laws and have more patrol over elephant poaching because the ivory market is big and there's a big demand for ivory. The cost of ivory is rising in the world which leads to more elephant poaching. An article in NY Times states, “The price of ivory has gotten to the point of around $1,000 per pound - that is encouraging people all across the continent to slaughter elephants and sell their ivory tusks.” This shows that even this expert sees the spike in the amount of poaching that correlates with the rise in the worth of ivory. If we don't set stricter laws and protect the elephants, an excessive amount of poaching will continue to happen and these elephants will keep being slaughtered.

Ivory is being used in many selfish ways by humans, if we use another type of material people won't have to kill any wildlife. In Japan, ivory is used to make a lot of showcase items for human use that could be replaced with another material. Vivek Menon with the International Fund for Animal Welfare says, “Most of the ivory going to Japan makes name seals, anklets, beads, necklaces - that kind of stuff”, these types of things could be made out of another material that doesn't harm the environment or it’s animals. If we made these things out of another material, the ivory demand could be lessened and the threat of elephant extinction could go down.

These reasons show why we need to inform poachers of what they're causing, set stricter poaching laws, and stop using elephants tusks for selfish material items. If we don't fix the corrupt ways that we have established, elephants will go into extinction and they won't come back, because of our selfish human behaviors. You, Mr. or Mrs. President, have the power to save these animals before it’s too late.

Sincerely, Alison K.