Elephant Help

The world’s largest land animal is now endangered because ivory tusks are worth enough for there to be an international black market evolving solely around them. Sure, there are “laws” and “policies” to help out the African Elephants, but weak governments combined with poachers who easily skirt around the regulations make for an black market with exponential growth.

What does this have to do with China? It is the Chinese that are driving this illegal market. The director of Kenya’s Wildlife Service states “Ninety per cent of all the people we have arrested at the airports ferrying ivory are Chinese.” Though in CHina, all ivory sellers are required to have tracking numbers for all their sales, so that every piece of ivory can be tracked from the time it was imported. Yet, 63% of the items that were checked lacked official identification.

What surprised me with this information is that 63% of the legal market¬†was reported to be skirting the rules. What does that say about the black market? As one might assume, it’s a very prevalent establishment. When the Chinese government relaxed the rules about ivory sales in 2008, the illegal activities revolving around the ivory trade increased.

Though Hong Kong has reported the most seizures of illegal ivory trade, if I’m to research this topic, I need to find where in Beijing it is that the trade is most prevalent. I also want to learn more about what is really being done to stop and it and how serious the policies against it are. I want to know what the consequences are, what subset of the popualtion is most frequently arrested for the trading, and if there are any international efforts extending to Africa to stem the poaching frequency.

The poor, big guys need some help!th-1