Elephant Poaching in Africa

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“There’s no forest where we cannot find poachers. They are everywhere” (“Campaign to Battle Elephant Poaching”). Poaching is the illegal hunting of wild animals that are sold to make a profit. This hurts the population of the species. At times, it even drives the animal to extinction. The poaching of Elephants has had a tremendous impact on Africa by the ivory trade, the population, and the conservation groups. Firstly, one of the reasons the poaching of elephant is popular is because of the demand for ivory. For example, “Elephants are poached to sell certain body parts that are valued in some countries for supposed healing powers and other special qualities” (Desanker et al.). For the majority of the African population, ivory can be money and also a possible end to poverty (Desanker et al.). Also, “the sale of ivory from the elephants could possibly help poor regions in Africa to pay for social programs” (Desanker et al.). “The “White Gold” of Africa, Ivory has been desired for centuries” (Desanker et al.). In addition, “Unlike bone which is often brittle, ivory is a durable material that can be carved into finely detailed sculpture that gives off a glow when polished” (Desanker et al.). For example, ivory is used for multiple reasons that include: piano keys, billiard balls, dominos and sometimes jewelry. Therefore, the selling of ivory is valued and desirable in the continent of Africa, and may be hurting the elephant’s population. Secondly, the population of African elephants is impacted greatly by poaching. Specifically, “ It’s estimated that between 80-90% of elephants disappeared in the last 20-25 years” (“Campaign to Battle Elephant Poaching”). This is because of the high demand of ivory. Also the poachers make a high profit for the ivory they take from the elephants and sell. However, “Elephants were not killed on a massive scale for their ivory until

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