Some Good News for Elephants from India, China, Africa, Hong Kong
An Animal Rights Article from


Performing Animals Welfare Society (PAWS)
January 2014

elephant ivory
Hong Kong officials have announced they will incinerate more than 28 tonnes of warehoused ivory. This shipment of 700 ivory tusks, worth over $1 million, was seized by customs in Hong Kong last year.
Photo: Bobby Yip, Reuters

India: The Dakshina Mookambika Temple in North Paravur, located in the Indian state of Kerala, will no longer use elephants for processions, setting an example for other temples to follow. Elephants used in these parades are often harassed and over-worked, and they sometimes kill bystanders. The temple will replace the elephants with chariots during festivals.

Africa: Three years of intensive anti-poaching strategies are paying off for elephants living the Zakouma National Park in Chad. Extensive poaching between 2005 and 2010 reduced the number of elephants from 4,000 to just 450. Surviving elephants were not regularly breeding and the calves who were born often died after being orphaned. But the country's plan, that involved year-round poaching patrols, aerial support, and fitting elephants with GPS collars to track their location, appears to be working. During the past two years no elephant has been hunted, and just recently a survey of the park's elephants revealed 21 new calves. Hopefully this is the beginning of a full recovery. It also shows what a determined government can do to protect elephants.

China: Officials in Guangzhou, China, crushed 6.1 tonnes of confiscated elephant tusks and ivory carvings to bring attention to the issue of wildlife trafficking and the decimation of African elephants for the ivory trade. This is an important first step for the country, as it raises public awareness among Chinese citizens that can lead to a reduction in demand for ivory products. China remain the world's number one ivory consumer, and, unlike other countries, does not oppose international trade in ivory. China's action follows ivory crushes in the U.S. (6 tons) and the Philippines (5 tons).

Hong Kong: Officials in Hong Kong announced last week that 28 tonnes of warehoused ivory will be incinerated - making it the largest destruction of ivory in the world. The disposal of the ivory is expected to take one to two years, and future illegal ivory seizures will be regularly destroyed. Not only will this send a strong message and encourage the public to stop buying ivory, it prevents the ivory for ever re-entering the market.

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