Dear friends of Changila, I am deeply moved by all your letters, which I have read over and over again. Thank you. [You may read and add to the letters to Oria at the foot of her blog post Saluting Changila.] I share your feelings of rage and sadness. It will be a long battle to…
“We are absolutely convinced that the massacre of elephant is a very serious matter,” writes Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, in a response today to our correspondence about the use of elephant ivory for devotional icons by some Catholic followers.
As Father Lombardi points out, it was emails from readers of A Voice for Elephants blog to his office that encouraged him to write this letter. Please continue the conversation by commenting here and also, if you wish, by writing directly to his office.
The religious use of ivory is among the least publicized and seemingly most easily correctable drivers of the massive elephant slaughter now taking place across Africa. Does the Vatican consider the use of ivory religious carvings and ecclesiastical gifts to be morally wrong or at odds with Church doctrine? There has been no response to several requests National Geographic made to the Vatican to clarify the Church’s position.
The large number of mature and experienced African elephants being killed illegally for their ivory is exposing younger surviving elephants to a higher risk of mortality from predation and other risks, wildlife conservationists said today.
On January 3 Oria Douglas-Hamilton flew in tribute over the mutilated remains of an elephant named Changila, slaughtered outside Kenya’s Samburu National Park. He was killed the day after her 80th birthday. She pays tribute to the elephant and mourns the loss of another victim of the illegal ivory trade.
Right now, the subject of ivory trading is on everyone’s lips: to trade or not to trade? There’s also a lot of talk about reducing demand by targeting consumers with awareness campaigns. But no one talks about targeting the individuals, governments, and vested interests that stimulate the trade.
Gangs of heavily armed elephant poachers have crossed the Central African Republic (CAR) from Sudan and are reported to be close to the southern Chad and northern Cameroon borders. Informers recognized one of the poachers as part of the group responsible for the killing frenzy that left roughly 650 elephants dead in and around northern Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjidah National Park in February 2012.
National Geographic Contributing Writer Bryan Christy offers observations and suggestions on what the priorities should be for the newly announced U.S. initiative to form a global coalition to protect wildlife in their environments and end the illicit global trade in wildlife goods. “If I could offer only one suggestion on how to reduce wildlife crime, it would be this: Look to the grass roots,” Christy says.
Hillary Clinton to ask intelligence community to look into illegal wildlife trade; pledges $100,000 to launch new global system of enforcement.
Following the capture of the poachers, Chadian communities have gathered to support the country’s elephants. The wildlife organization SOS Elephants, traditional leaders, and administrative authorities together have initiated an education campaign to explain why elephants deserve protection and how creation of a safe corridor could help.
Zakaria Ibrahim, Brahim Khamis, Daoud Aldjouma, Djibrine Adoum Goudja, and Idriss Adoum—all dead, gunned down during dawn prayers. Where? North of Zakouma National Park in Chad, central Africa. When? September 3, 2012. Why? They were assassinated for protecting the last of the elephant herds found in the vast stretches between the Sahara Desert and the Congo forest.
“Blood Ivory: Ivory Worship” is generating keen interest in the Philippines. The country’s ivory trade has been the cover story of the Philippine newspapers this week and is receiving similar attention across the country, especially on the island of Cebu.
A Cebu priest known for his collection of religious icons carved from ivory may have incriminated himself with his revelations on the illegal trade in an investigative report appearing in National Geographic and reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine newspaper reported on its front page today. Monsignor Cristobal Garcia could face up to…
National Geographic’s undercover investigation into how the global religious market for ivory is a driving force in the slaughter of thousands of African elephants has prompted extensive media coverage — and calls for an official inquiry — in the Philippines. Bryan Christy reported in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic that he traveled to the…
Elephants are being illegally killed across Africa at the highest rates in a decade, and the global religious market for ivory is a driving force. “Ivory Worship,” the cover story in the October issue of National Geographic, offers the first in-depth investigation of this untold story. For a behind-the-scenes perspective on this story, we interviewed…