By Sarah Brill, Science & Technology Editor
In Hindu cosmology, there is a beautiful concept about the origins of the Earth. Before humans came and infested the world, elephants roamed around, paving roads and canyons, acting as the keepers of the Earth. They held the most wisdom, and today we still recognize that elephants are some of the smartest creatures on this planet.
Elephants play a vital role in our ecosystem. They trample the massive grasslands so that small creatures can make their way through the maze of grass and weeds towards water sources. Not only that, but elephants dig water holes when the rainfall is low, allowing both them and smaller creatures to access water. For a creature so wise, beautiful, and significant to our ecosystem, it is painful to say that they are on the brink of extinction.
According to World Elephant Day Elephant, the number of elephants “have dropped by 62% over the last decade, and they could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade.” This massive decline is due to the ivory industry. Ivory trade, while being illegal, still earns a high profit on the Chinese market. Even with this illegal trade, there are still some places around the world where the ivory trade is legal.
The United States, for example, has significantly limited the entrance of ivory in this country. However, there has not been a complete ban on the trading and selling of this product. The reality remains; an estimated 100 elephants are killed each day by poachers looking to make a profit from elephant skin and body parts.
The good news is that it is not too late, and there is hope for these ancient creatures. The solution is to implement tight regulations regarding the trade and selling of ivory. Just as countries have tight regulations around murder and crimes, there also needs to be as tight of a regulation around the selling and trading of these elephant products. These ancient creatures deserve a place on our planet. They should not suffer at the hands of humans.
There needs to be regulations and laws in place, or we risk the survival of these creatures.