Cameroon’s elephants: weep not too long, we need you to act

Faceless poachers and faceless elephants.

One group scurrying away with their bloodied tusks, hoping to sell their grim booty to another faceless middle man in a dusty corner of the world; the other group lying dead, tuskless, simply faceless.

I look across the elephant world and consider the work that we are doing. 

The elephants in Amboseli national park in Kenya are not faceless; in fact, they are the most well studied elephants in the world.  We know their names, each and everyone, and are working to protect them as they move in and out of the park, as they make their way through natural corridors leading to Tanzania where the International Fund for Animal Welfare is working to increase the capacity of rangers to protect them from poachers. 

I smile at the thought.

Kenya this week announced its intent to call for a ban on all ivory sales.The Kenyan action plan calls for an intense push at next years Conference of the Parties to CITES to take place next year in Bangkok, Thailand.

Those who seek to increase profit through the sale of ivory will surely see this position as extreme. If only the myth of the elephant grave yard were true with its mountains of ivory piled high for the taking; its residents having peacefully died and oblivious to man’s lust for vulgar trinkets.  If it were true then perhaps I could agree to label Kenya’s position extreme. But it is not true. It is not.

You have learned through my colleague’s blogs that there is a massacre of elephants taking place now and for the past two months in the African country of Cameroon. 

IFAW has partnered with a team of journalists to document this slaughter so that the world will know what happened, what is happening.  So the world will know that faceless poachers have killed individual after individual, family member after family member park ranger after park ranger. 

The elephants of Cameroon are not so well studied as those in Amboselli so I cannot call out their names for you. 

But weep for them. 

And when you have finished weeping rise up in anger.

Raise your voice to ensure that the reaction to this senseless killing amounts to more than the ‘grave concern” expressed by the CITES secretariat in their press release this week. 

I was heartened to see that the secretariat is expressing alarm but I hope that it means the parties to the CITES convention will finally make the link between promoting ivory sales and the killing of elephants for their ivory. 

If you are reading this you can do your part by sharing the news with as many friends as possible to spread the word of what is happening.

Convince all you know to turn their backs on ivory.  Add your name to our virtual elephant march which we will use to show our collective outrage.

Weep for the faceless, but weep not too long, we need you to act.


Comments: 7

6 years ago

Each and every one of these incredible, beautiful, magnificent, intelligent animals is too important to be gunned down or speared with poison arrows to die a slow death. This MUST BE STOPPED or soon these animals will be gone. China, Thailand, Cambodia and many of the African countries share the responsibility for this carnage. The world is watching and waiting for the responsible parties to do the right thing - the sale of ivory equates directly to more senseless slaughters like the recent massacre in Cameroon.

Robert Levy
6 years ago

I am so tired of hearing about the senseless killing of these magnificent animals. Everytime I read of a rhino or a poor elephant being slaughtered all I can think of is the terror and fear that they must of experienced at the very end. These creatures have as much right to inhabit this earth and demand protection from such atrocities as we do. I imagine the defenseless children watching their parents being slaughtered and cannot help but make a connection between myself and my children. These animals are every bit as self aware as we are and deserve our help. I have sent all of my friends these newest links and urged them to do whatever we can to help. I am tired of poachers being armed while the rangers can do nothing. Although I hate violence I can see that the only way to deter such atrocities is going to come to making it a death sentence for the poachers who commit these acts. Something has to be done. I feel it is already too late and I am heartbroken,

6 years ago

elefants extinct in 10 years, rhinos in 5 years, the afrikan govts make large profits of these deaths, they do nothing to stop it, without an airlift evacuation or a platoon of marines, seals n army theses creatures will 100% be extinct, there is no tomorrow, this is their Stalingrad today..

6 years ago

Can these areas be declared elephant and rhino holocaust zones? We can´t deny anymore that the holocaust as described simply stopped after WWII , provided it ever happened as described. The idea is not just to kill the elephants and sell the ivory - it´s to break down people. I agree with Anonymous. But such mercenaries would have to go to where the poachers live and eliminate them at their bases. They have bases and that is where they must go and the targets should first and foremost be the rich poachers while people who have been forced to poach against their will can be relocated to safe areas. As far as Donald Trump is concerned , his reputation will never recover now that he´s been connected with this in a response to one of the posts here. The reputation of the Chinese Communist Party is gone forever because of this. Reputations go first today when news of poaching reaches the Mainstream Media.

6 years ago

The only thing that will stop this slaughter now is mercenaries with guns. But the world does not seem to have the stomach for it, nor the money.

6 years ago

All we see is disaster. The situation seems completely hopeless and I am in complete dispair. The one good piece of news I saw today is that China has a trade deficit, which might mean they are getting poorer, so less demand for ivory? What a joke! What hope is there if the people of the land in which these magnificent creatures live do not care?

6 years ago

I have to ask... rather than publicizing this slaughter, why not finance rangers to put a stop to it? What are the options here?

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