This week Donald Trump announced his decision to permit the importing of elephant parts from Zambia and Zimbabwe into the USA. Although he has now stated that he will delay any further decisions on the matter until he has fully reviewed the conservation facts, it is shocking that in this day and age someone with such power and influence, is seen to be encouraging and promoting the killing of elephants.
Ever since I can remember, elephants have been my favourite animal. My grandad who spent some of his childhood in East Africa would tell me stories about the exotic wildlife he would stumble upon on a daily basis, but what I looked forward to most were his descriptions and encounters of the elephants he saw, and I would want him to tell me them again and again.
So why is it so important that we protect these friends of ours?
Elephants are extremely intelligent and have incredible memories. Elephants remember other elephants and humans which they have met before. They will remember how they were treated by them, differentiating between friends and enemies. This reminds me of when I visited an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Each elephant had a mahout- a human companion who looks after them. The bond is very special and is lifelong, as they learn to trust each other. The most wonderful and amazing thing is, the elephant gets to choose their own mahout, the human cannot choose the elephant. The elephant has to warm to the individual, feel comfortable around them and take instruction from the mahout. Elephants have a remarkable awareness and emotional intelligence about them. Apparently once a lady who worked in a top-end job in New York City visited the sanctuary whilst on holiday, one of the elephants liked her so much she ended up staying and became a mahout. I was secretly praying inside that one of the elephants would choose me, needless to say I wasn’t chosen- fingers crossed next time!
Elephants feel great emotion- they cry, play and laugh, just like we do. They will assist other elephants who are injured and even mourn deaths, by staying with the body for a few days before moving on. Elephants also love to have fun, with water fights being a particular favourite.
American TV Host Ellen Degeneres has launched the #BeKindToElephants campaign to raise awareness of the absurdity of Trump’s decision.
You can watch Ellen’s take on Trump’s stupidity here:
Please show your support for the campaign by reposting this image from Ellen’s social media accounts using #BeKindToElephants:
For every repost, The Ellen Show will make a donation to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who are dedicated to protecting and preserving these beautiful and intelligent creatures.
It is crucial that the current ban on importing elephant parts is not reversed, otherwise it will both indirectly and directly influence the killing of more innocent elephants. Although the killing of elephants for ivory is illegal it is still a very grey area, as elephants are still currently being killed for this purpose. Often people are disguising recent ivory with ivory prior to 1950s (which currently still remains legal to own and trade).
Trump has put the decision on hold for now but we need to continue speaking out about our outrage to protect our gentle and kind friends.
I have always heard writers say ‘write about what you know best and your interests’ and have always thought this to be so cliché, however they are completely right!….’I love to travel and explore new places, whether it be in the UK or overseas’. As well as travel, I enjoy writing about anything that springs to my mind which I feel passionate about.
A contribution to Rage Against the Machine Month. If you’d like to be a part of the challenge, find more information Here. But first, leave a comment and let Monika know what you think about her words, and be sure to visit her over at The Life of Monika when you’re done.
Featured image via http://www.bhmpics.com