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Grace Chang
Dr. Haas
Writing 37
30 January 2015
Elephants and Ivory
Elephants are the worlds largest terrestrial animals. These magnificent
animals are murdered every day by a minute creature compared to an
elephant but are considered as one of the most dangerous predators
humans. Although United Nations Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned the ivory trade
in 1989, poaching African elephants and trading ivory returned to their out of
control situations (Blood Ivory). Many sources and experts such as WWF,
Last Days of Ivory, Elephant Action League utilizes rhetorical appeals of
ethos, pathos and logos in order to inform the public of the current and
possibly the future conditions of the African Elephants.
In 1979, 1.3 million African elephants inhabited all over Africa. Merely a
decade later, the elephant population decreased to about 600,000 (Blood
Ivory). At this rate, African elephants may become extinct from something
immorally materialistic and preventable. After CITES banned the ivory trade
in 1989, there was decline in illegal killings of elephants and a temporary
recovery of the population. Southern Africa is the stronghold for the species,
but they had a heavy impact when 64% of Central Africas elephants were
massacred in ten years (Scriber). Brad Scriber, the Deputy Research Director

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for National Geographic, provided statistics of how in the last three years,
poachers slaughtered 100,000 African elephants. Furthermore, George
Wittemeyer of Colorodo State University stated that not only would the
absence of the African Elephants reduce genetic diversity, but also create
problems toward the distribution of species and its ecological role.
Elephants may appear insignificant to the human population, but it is a part
of Africas culture and life. They help balance the other species by opening
up forest landdigging to crate water access for other animals, and leaving
nutrients in their wake (Scriber). The disappearance of the African Elephants
may bring unknown, horrible results not only for Africa, but also for the entire
world. The United States appalled by the criminal acts issue a ban on
commercial trade on ivory. On the contrary, there are still illegal killing and
trading of ivory happening in the world.
Last Days of Ivory, an organization promoting the end of ivory-funded
terrorism, created a film called Last Days directed by Hollywood director
Kathryn Bigelow to exhibit how the ivory trade business funds terrorists
groups. The film illustrated the African terrorist groups such as the AlShabaa, Joseph Konys Lords Resistance Army, Boko Haram and Janjaweed
disguise attacks by illegally trading ivory. The Elephant Action League
investigated the Al-Shabaab for 18 months I 2011 and learned that they
acquire about $200,000-$600,000 a month from tusks (Poe). Terrorist groups
spend their finances on weapons, such as, AK-47 machine guns and bow and
arrows with poison to kill the rangers protecting the elephants. As long as the

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ivory trade continues, the terrorist groups will only gain more money and
power to control the misfortune of Africa. The Ivory trade is merely a domino
effect to something bigger. The more they trade ivory, the more money they
earn, which is equivalent to power and authority in many countries in Africa.
On the other hand, there are claims that the link between illegal ivory
funding a terrorist group may be false. Tristan McConell, GlobalPostss senior
correspondent for Africa, and other experts reanalyzed the Al-Shabaabs
attack on Nairobis Westgate shopping mall. Sources suggests that ten tusks
alone who have been enough to fund their operation. Nevertheless, the EAL
described that the Al-Shabaab earns up to 40 percent of its income from
poaching and illegally trading ivory, but one to three tons of ivory attained
them about $200,000-$600,000. McConell implies that many of the
connection between ivory trading and terrorist groups orginated from the
Elephant Action League. He denotes that by shifting the attention to terrorist
groups will not stop the ivory trade, but alter the focus to a different a issue.
African Elephants are struggling daily to live another day, but that will
only happen if people are aware of the situation of the elephants in Africa.
Optimistically, elephants are vast in size for a reason. Zoologist, Iain
Douglas-Hamilton, describes elephants an amazingly resilient creatures.
Regardless of the fact that they reside in home where they are hunted
everyday, these elephants are still able to manage a community. Therefore,
Douglas-Hamilton calls this situation a crisi but not yet a catastrophe
(Schiffman).

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Works Cited
1. "Ban the Trade, Burn the Ivory Stop Elephant Poaching." Bloody Ivory : Stop Elephant Poaching
and Ivory Trade. Born Free Foundation, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2015.
2. "End Ivory-Funded Terrorism." End Ivory-Funded Terrorism. Annapurna Pictures, n.d. Web. 30 Jan.
2015.
3. Schiffman, Richard. "Ivory Poaching Funds Most War and Terrorism in Africa." Environment.
NewScientist, 14 May 2014. Web. 39 Jan. 2015.
4. Scriber, Brad. "100,000 Elephants Killed by Poachers in Just Three Years, Landmark Analysis
Finds." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 18 Aug. 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.
5. "Stop the Ivory Trade." Stop the Ivory Trade. Born Free Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.
6. "Threats to African Elephants." WWF -. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.

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Many sources and experts such as WWF, Last Days of Ivory, and Elephant
Action League utilize rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos and logos in order to
inform the public of the current and possibly the future conditions of the
African Elephants.

CITES works to enforce the ban of the ivory trade to protect the elephants,
however, many conservationist believes that there should be a limited
legalization to meet the demand.