Ivory Cosa Nostra
By Abe Lerner
Global Demand for Tusks & Horns Fuels Spike in Cruelty to Animals
Elephant. Rhinoceros. Their mere names elicit fear & symbolize might. These mammoth beasts are simply awesome. But what happens when components of their physical anatomy become targets of public consumption? Evolving as global commodities, elephant ivory tusks & rhinoceros horns have triggered an international appetite that is being satiated by lawless poachers who indiscriminately kill animals, to secure their natural protrusions. Elephant & rhinoceros populations are being decimated by greedy thieves. Oh, how the mighty have fallen…
Reuters reported a July 11, 2014, rural Kenya murder of four rhinos, netting armed robbers three stolen horns. The attack occurred on the private Ol Jogi ranch in Nanyuki, 120 miles north of Nairobi. On May 30, 2014, one of Kenya’s most beloved elephants was felled by a poacher’s arrow, & was subsequently stripped of its tusks. Satao, a national celebrity in Kenya, adored by citizens for his unusually long tusks, was killed & mutilated, despite having been roaming the grounds of the Tsavo East National Park, a seemingly safe haven. These accounts of recent incidents are unfortunately just a drop in the bucket. Thousands of animals are being slaughtered annually, to line the pockets of mafia oriented gangs, whose barbaric tactics include poisoning their victims as well.
You don’t need to be an economist to infer that a lot of money is being pocketed via tusks & horns. The numbers are mindboggling! A pair of tusks can fetch upwards of $126,000.00.Rhino horns have a street value of $65,000.00 per kilogram. Why are they so valuable though? The answer ranges from the practical to the absurd. Ivory has traditionally been used in jewelry & other ornaments. Rhino horns, due to their unique translucent color when carved, adorn the Jambiya Knife, a popular item in Yemen & other countries in the Middle East. When ground into powder form, tusks & horns have been staples in Traditional Chinese medicine, although scientifically they appear not to contain any therapeutic properties whatsoever. There are those that equate their medicinal benefits to ingesting sawdust. & the myth has spread…The Vietnamese have convinced themselves that rhino horns aid those recovering from a hangover & can cure cancer as well. It has even become a status symbol for the wealthy elite, who drink the ground powder mixed in water, bolstering their social drinking experience.
Despite international efforts to curb the illicit trade, elephant & rhinoceros poaching rages on. Improved security measures have proven to be inadequate protecting the animals, as it is virtually impossible to guard the large expanses of land that comprise their natural habitat. Additionally, the bad guys are consistently one step ahead of the game, as we have come to learn from the rampant steroid & PED use in Major League Baseball. Every cutting-edge blood test invented to disclose drug usage is preceded by a newly discovered masking agent that conceals the evidence. Point being, that this battle won’t be won attempting to outsmart the poaching mafia. The rules of supply & demand strongly suggest otherwise.
As compassionate human beings, we can’t help but be saddened by their plight. The brutal images of dead carcasses splattered all over social media are tearjerkers, as innocent wildlife is being arbitrarily massacred. Pet parents can relate to the feelings associated with the trials & tribulations of their loved ones. Farmers have a special bond with their bovine & equine companions. Spectators at zoos gaze lovingly at the array of beautiful creatures that inhabit our world. We feel their pain.
How can anyone be so callous as to torture, maim, & ultimately kill elephants & rhinoceroses for personal gain?
It is a very sad day for humanity.
I welcome your thoughts on this issue.
Abe Lerner is a member of the pack at NutralifePet, a division of Nutralife Health Products, Inc., which has been selling high quality dietary supplements since 1996. NutralifePet, the manufacturer of Ultra Joint & Liver Support with SAM-e for dogs and cats, caters to the individual needs of each pet. NutralifePet…caring about animals, one pet at a time…