Tag Archives: elephants

The Importance of an Ivory Burn

The Importance of an Ivory Burn


Some people ask what the reasoning is behind an ivory burn. Some have suggested that flooding the market with ivory would help drive down prices and demand or that a one-time sale of this ivory could fund conservation efforts.

Discussion was further fuelled by Kenya’s recent ivory burn that took place in Nairobi National Park on April 28th, 2016. With eleven pyres of the tusks of roughly 8,000 elephants, as well as rhino horns and animal skins, this was the largest burn every to take place.

Many nations, including the US and Kenya have publicly destroyed ivory contraband to stop the trade. (Ivory Stockpile Burns 1989 – 2016)

Here are some reasons why the ivory burn was the right decision.

  • The ivory is illegal to sell as per CITES Appendix I and many nations’ laws;
  • Previous one-off sales of ivory have resulted in dramatic increases in poaching; and its sale would be morally reprehensible.
  • Countries who destroy ivory show that they value the whole elephant, that ivory belongs only on them, and it’s valuable ONLY to living elephants.
  • If Kenya’s 105-tonne ivory stockpile had legally entered the market, it would have provided a conduit for laundering the vast amounts of illegal ivory that are smuggled out of Africa and into Asian nations, funding terrorist groups like Boko Haram and al-Shabab.
  • History has shown us that after CITES listed the African elephant on Appendix I and banned the international trade in ivory in 1989, poaching levels dropped, elephant populations began to recover and flourish again, and the illegal trade slowed dramatically.
  • The two legal CITES one-off sales of ivory stockpiles, to Japan in 1997 and Japan and China in 2008, had disastrous consequences for African elephants.
  • China’s ivory carving factories fired up and the poaching crisis exploded.
  • More than 100,000 African elephants have been slaughtered in recent years, with approximately 90% of tusks successfully smuggled through transit nations and into the vast black market. The New York Times reported in 2012 that 70% of illegal ivory was being smuggled into China. Legal trade fuels poaching and increases demand for more ivory.
  • China’s population is 1.408 *billion* people. Even if only 1% of the Chinese people purchased ivory, that’s still 14 million people demanding it. With only about 450,000 elephants at most still existing on the African continent, the species would be wiped out with legal trade and an escalation in demand.
  • It’s estimated that only 10% of illegal tusks are intercepted and seized. Imagine how immense Kenya’s burning stockpile would have been if all illegal ivory had been recovered.

Elephant advocate Ann Early made the point about today’s ivory burn in the most succinct statement we’ve read, and kindly gave her permission to share it:

“All day I’ve been defending the Kenya ivory cremation in comments on articles or posts from people who think the tusks should be put on the market to raise money for Kenya. it is hard for some people to grasp the moral contradiction of selling the tusks of poached elephants into the ivory market while decrying the destruction and unspeakable torment of this species by that very same trade.”

Kenya did the right thing and we applaud the Kenya Wildlife Service for their hard work and vision, as well as Dr. Richard Leakey and Dr. Winnie Kiiru who supervised the operation and the verification of inventory. Thank you to all the elephant researchers and conservationists who attended the ivory burn; as heartrending as these images are for those of us a continent and ocean away, we can only imagine how sorrowful it must have been for you to witness in person with the acrid smell of smoke and death in the air.

Someday future generations who will inherit the earth will look back at these times and the ghastly crimes against elephants and nature, which are also crimes against humanity, particularly the African people. Robbing a nation’s people of their wildlife – which provides tourism jobs and accounts for 12% of Kenya’s GDP – and killing the creatures who grow the forests and are intrinsic parts of their ecosystems is a crime against the nation’s people.

Humanity should collectively hang our heads in shame for the elephants’ unfathomable suffering and tortuous deaths. It’s a stain on our species that legal trade in ivory was ever allowed and that we have not yet stopped the poaching. It is our imperative to do so.

This is our last chance to save elephants from extinction. We don’t get a do-over once they’re gone, and if we allow elephants and rhinos to go extinct, it would be humanity’s unpardonable crime.

Photo credits:

First photo: Stand Up Shout Out

Text adopted from : ‪#‎GMFER core strategist Lori Sirianni, on behalf of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

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Fashion Week Shines a Spotlight on the Elephant Crisis


Vancouver, BC: In an industry that regularly garners criticism from animal advocates, Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) is showing the world that animals do in fact matter. On Saturday (March 19) March 20 (VFW ) will feature Elephantasia, a pachyderm-inspired, eco-couture collection by a collaboration of 12 different designers globally. This travelling exhibition will raise awareness and funds for African elephants who are killed for their ivory. In Africa an elephant dies every 15 minutes. Ninety-six elephants die from poaching per day and at this rate, African elephants will be extinct within our generation.

Elephantasia is enlisting the support of BC’s only elephant advocacy organization – Elephanatics. Based in Vancouver, the group helps the long-term survival of elephants by raising awareness, organizing events such as the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, and providing education on the enormous challenges elephants face in Africa’s poaching crisis and in Asia’s tourist trade.

The fashion show On Saturday March 19th will also include guest speaker, Dr. Jake Wall, Chief Scientific Research Advisor for Elephanatics. (Elephanatics, Save the Elephants, UBC Grad and National Geographic Explorer) He will speak at 4:30 pm about the current poaching crisis in Africa. Dr. Wall developed a real-time monitoring system using high-tech GPS tracking technology inside collars that were put on wild elephants. The system helps counter elephant poaching in Kenya and South Africa. Dr. Walls technology was instrumental in capturing iconic footage of a one-hundred-plus elephant herd for National Geographic’s documentary, Great Migrations.

On Sunday (March 20), Elephanatics will host an information booth at VFWs show at the Chinese Cultural Centre at – 4:00 pm. The booth will be collecting donations for the African Wildlife Foundation and encouraging donations with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s baby elephant orphanage in Kenya that cares for the young elephants orphaned by poaching, until they are ready to be introduced to the wild again.


Elephantasia at Vancouver Fashion Week

March 19 14 to 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver

50 East Pender Street

Vancouver, BC




Twitter: @elephanaticsbc


Instagram: Elephantasia2016


Tessa Vanderkop





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2015 A Year in Highlights for Elephants

Hi everyone,

As 2015 has drawn to a close we wanted to take a look at some of the victories for elephants around the world. While elephants continue to face numerous challenges there are some things to celebrate.  Let’s take a look:


US China Deal to Ban Ivory Trade is Good News for Elephants  Read more here.

New York, New Jersey, and California all have passed laws banning the sale of ivory, with fifteen other states expected to introduce similar legislation in the coming years. Read more here  and here.

Obama proposes sweeping ban on U.S. Ivory Sales Read more here.

California passed AB96, banning the sale of ivory and rhino horn.

Voters in Washington state sent a strong message to the world on November 3 when they passed the country’s first ever comprehensive state ban on commerce in endangered animal species. Read more here.

Tanzania Confident it Can Eradicate Poaching Within 4 Years. Read more here.

A woman dubbed the ‘ivory kingpin’ for her alleged leadership of one of Africa’s biggest ivory smuggling operations has been charged. Read more here.

Namibia’s elephant population grew by more than 70% between 2002 and 2013 from 9,600 to 16,000. Across Northern Kenya there has been a 43% decline in elephant poaching between 2012 and 2014. Read more here.

Community led approach to elephant conservation has a positive impact. Read more here.

Elephants in Circuses

Richmond, VA and Austin, TX banned the use of the bullhook. effectively making it impossible for circuses to force elephants to perform within city limits. Read more here.

Holland bans the use of wildlife from performing in circuses. Read more here.

Trophy Hunting Expo was shut down in Orlando Florida and in Toronto, Ontario

Last but not least over 130 cities all around the world marched for elephants in 2015 – with over 3,000 attending the march in Nairobi and approximately 40,000 people marching worldwide. Read more here.

Elephant Nature Park, Wildlife SOS both continue to do amazing work through education and awareness and the rescue of  elephants and other animals in distress.

This list is by no means complete and is intended simply as a highlight. If we’ve missed something, drop us a line and we’ll add it.

Together we’re making a difference. Let’s keep doing it.

Visit elephanatics.org

This is a repost from here.


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David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Orphan’s Supporting the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos October 3rd and 4th 2015

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2015 Vancouver – Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Marchers’ Toolkit and Resources

10374982_10153053363255358_1265353712870345524_nHello Global (Vancouver) Marchers!

Here is a toolkit to help you get the word out! Posters, petitions, umbrellas and t-shirts are soon to come!

Vancouver March:
October 3rd – 12:00 to 2:00 pm
Vancouver Public Library – North Plaza – 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Speakers: Dr. Jake Wall – Save the Elephants (African Elephant)
Dr. Hedy Fry  – MP Vancouver Centre
Rosemary Conder – BC SPCA – Elephants in Tourism (Asia)

For those of you attending the Vancouver march and who are interested in helping us get the word out here are a few tools:

Download – Print – Post!


11885186_10153403148515358_2127761097732713250_n Chinese 2015


Umbrellas! Purple and Black are available! $45.00

11895965_1173266496033753_5161944556011337568_n-1 11891111_1173266492700420_7097483885487433049_n 11953259_1173267949366941_7898417307372812033_n 11913880_1173266522700417_387683873892771544_n

T-SHIRTS for SALE – $20.00








Legislative Support!

Global March and Elephant Rhino crisis presented as a private members bill in the BC legislature by Mike Farnworth NDP MLA for Port Coquitlam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-eqW8Algms


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12:00 pm to 2:00 PM

12:00 to 12:40 – music, face painting, t-shirt and umbrella sales, sign the petition

12:40 to 12: 45 Opening Remarks


12: 45 to 12:55 pm Dr. Hedy Fry

12:55 to 1:10 pm Dr. Jake Wall (Save the Elephants)

1:10 pm to 1:20 pm Rosemary Conder (BC SPCA)

1:20 to 1:40 march

1:40 photo, closing remarks, next steps


This year Vancouver joins 10 other Canadian cities on the weekend of October 3 & 4th. Over 120 cities around the world will also be marching to draw attention to the crisis facing these species (and others) and to call for an end to the ivory and rhino horn trade that is pushing these (and many other species) towards extinction.Our march also aims to raise awareness of the issues facing the Asian elephant. It is estimated that there are less than 30,000 remaining with many living difficult (abusive) lives in the tourist trekking and illegal logging industries. Wherever you are find a march near you.

elephanatics.org is hosting this march! https://www.facebook.com/Elephanatics — Like us!

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