Every year, due to illegal poaching, hundreds and thousands of elephants and rhinos are killed for their tusks and horns and the death toll still continues to rise as poachers adopt inhumane methods of extraction, like the targeting of entire heads or shooting them with automatic weapons and sawing off their tusks, to obtain the ivory. Many poachers target the particularly vulnerable adult female elephants as they were easier to find and as a result of their killing many of the off springs often struggled to survive in the harsh environment. Despite the international ban on ivory trade, the black market continues to not only exist but flourish when it comes to the trade of ivory with China being the largest purchaser.

Ivory trade had become a disease especially for the Western Black Rhino which has been declared extinct. During the 20th century, an estimated one million of this species of rhinos roams the lands of Africa only to be reduced to the amount of 2300 by 2001. 98 percent of their population was killed by greedy and selfish poachers.

Fortunately, steps towards the abolishment of this type of trade are being taken. Just in 2011, over 38.8 tons of ivory, which amounts to the tusks from more than 40,000 elephants, was seized worldwide. Many organisations all over the world work towards protecting the species under a grave threat by poachers and give them a comfortable environment to live in. At some point or the other, humans have to be considerate of others around them and not be apathetic towards everything that doesn’t result in personal benefits.

“Many consumers in Asia do not realise that by buying ivory, they are playing a role in the illegal wildlife trade and its serious consequences.”

–Li Bingbing