There are five species of rhino and seven species of elephants in the world on the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) endangered list. Animals become a part of this list due to many reasons ranging from climate change to habitat loss, but these certain species are on here for a specific reason: poaching.
Poaching is the act of illegally killing animals, usually to retrieve something valuable from the animal. These elephants and rhinos were killed because across the world, the market for their horns and tusks is part of a very large, very illegal business. This is known as the ivory trade.
Elephant tusks are made of ivory and rhino horns are similarly made of keratin. The ivory trade ships thousands of these horns and tusks all around the world each year. Ivory is used for many different things in many different ways. For example, in Southeast Asia, rhino horns and elephant tusks are believed to have medicinal properties and healing powers. All around the world, ivory is in high demand and prices are skyrocketing as the number of elephants and rhinos is lessening.
In the article, “Deadly Trade,” the author Bryan Christy says, “Last year, South Africa reported they lost 1,175 rhinos to poachers.” At this rate, rhinos and elephants will be extinct before we know it. It is important to preserve these beautiful animals before it is too late. It is our job to stand up to the killings of these innocent creatures and the trade that profits from their unjust murders.
You can be an advocate by never buying anything that contains ivory and spreading the word about what is happening to elephants and rhinos in order to get their tusks and horns. The ivory trade must end!