The best and the worst of mankind – the worst.

This makes me so sick I can’t find an appropriate heading!

Just read this from the October edition of The National Geographic magazine!

Ivory Worship

Thousands of elephants die each year so that their tusks can be carved into religious objects. Can the slaughter be stopped?

By Bryan Christy

Photographs by Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images

IN JANUARY 2012 A HUNDRED RAIDERS ON HORSEBACK CHARGED OUT OF CHAD INTO CAMEROON’S BOUBA NDJIDAH NATIONAL PARK, SLAUGHTERING HUNDREDS OF ELEPHANTS—entire families—in one of the worst concentrated killings since a global ivory trade ban was adopted in 1989. Carrying AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, they dispatched the elephants with a military precision reminiscent of a 2006 butchering outside Chad’s Zakouma National Park. And then some stopped to pray to Allah. Seen from the ground, each of the bloated elephant carcasses is a monument to human greed. Elephant poaching levels are currently at their worst in a decade, and seizures of illegal ivory are at their highest level in years. From the air too the scattered bodies present a senseless crime scene—you can see which animals fled, which mothers tried to protect their young, how one terrified herd of 50 went down together, the latest of the tens of thousands of elephants killed across Africa each year. Seen from higher still, from the vantage of history, this killing field is not new at all. It is timeless, and it is now.

The full terrible article is here – if you have the stomach to read it.

Photograph by Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images
To keep the ivory from the black market, a plainclothes ranger hacks the tusks off a bull elephant killed illegally in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. In the first half of this year six park rangers died protecting Kenya’s elephants; meanwhile, rangers killed 23 poachers.

13 thoughts on “The best and the worst of mankind – the worst.

  1. Paul I’m sickened too. Right to the core of my heart. We do not deserve to hold the right to be called Human when we act so inhumane.
    I’m reading via my phone. And its those who are buying the ivory who pay such high prices for such terror to these wonderful creatures.
    We are so not worthy of our animal kingdom who only take that which they need to survive
    Mankind has left a stain of blood where ever he goes and this Earth is so ready to bite back!
    I will not be viewing the article in full my stomach already turned inside out
    Sending our animal kingdom and our beautiful fourlegged my prayers of forgiveness that I am at times ashamed of our Race.
    Blessing Sue


    1. Sue, when I read your comment earlier this morning, I thought that you expressed, powerfully and honestly, what many others would feel. Indeed, Merci has beaten me to it!

      So thank you for sharing your thoughts, as always, Paul


  2. Presumably, since you cite an article in this month’s National Geographic magazine, my mentioning the illegal trade in endangered species (caused by belief in Chinese medicine) last week is purely coincidental?

    One of the course modules of my MA in Environmental Politics was entitled ‘Environmental Diplomacy’ – in which we looked at a range of sustainability challenges that humanity has attempted to resolve via international agreements (e.g. Antarctica, Rainforests, Endangered Species, Air Pollution, and Toxic Waste). From all of this, I believe the comparison with what has happened in regard to Antarctica is highly significant:

    Under the auspices of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), it took nearly 20 years to negotiate a Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (CRAMRA) which was then, at the very last minute, not implemented because some countries plucked up the courage to refuse to sign it. Fortunately, it only took a few more years to produce The Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection instead – banning all mineral exploration and exploitation – consistent with the original aims of the ATS. This is also what we now need but, because of the supremacy of the fossil fuel lobby, will not get in the Arctic.

    The problem with the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is that it attempts to regulate something that should be comprehensively prohibited and actively prevented: With CITES, therefore, the international community has failed to solve the problem because its collective nerve failed; no-one blinked; and an ineffective agreement was implemented. It would also help if people stopped believing in Chinese medicine; and/or stopped fooling themselves that animals were not killed in order to produce that nice little carved ivory ornament on their coffee table.


  3. I also just read this in NG and felt the same sickness. Sue expressed all that I felt and agree with her wholeheartedly! It does make one wonder what it’s all about – this world, these so called human beings!


  4. Preserving the megafauna is a complicated problem at which the white man has utterly failed. Once I was going to bathe in the river. Suddenly, a wild bull elephant on the other side. I was in awe, but all the conservation I could think of was my own. This was a serious situation, like the time, when, as a ten year old, I went around the bend on a dirt road, and here was the most gigantic male lion I have ever seen, spread from one side of the road, to the other, looking at me with its gold eyes.

    Europeans and Americans talk about conservation, but their tongues are forked. If europeans and Americans want so much to save pachyderms, why don’t they do it themselves? Instead of exacting submission treaties from the natives?

    Animals in the wild are not cuddly and on TV. How to make human beings coexist with nature is difficult. One thing is sure: Africans have little lessons to get from Europeans and Americans, who have already massacred most of their dangerous animals.

    I am all for the re-introduction of the mammoths and mastodons in North America. And elephants, rhinoceroses, lions and panthers in Europe. Let bison roam in Paris and giant elks in Dublin as moose do in Anchorage! By the way, the European Brown Bear (nearly extinct, thanks to poison and hunting) is known as the Grizzly in Alaska. I have run there, with the index finger on the trigger of the gas canister.

    Talk is cheap, nature is expensive.


    1. And Aussie Ian, I’m so pleased you left a comment and allowed the connection between us. Your kind thoughts are a bonus! Just love your own blogsite and will take time to wander through your pages soon. Best wishes, Paul.


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