Mar
01
2014

Don’t poach elephants.

OK, look, I suspect that the author of this is a tree-hugger. But even if she is…

People are shooting, poisoning, and spearing [elephants] at such a rate across the continent that some scientists already consider them “ecologically extinct.” There are now fewer than 500,000 wild African elephants—maybe no more than half that number—and barely 32,000 Asian elephants.

They cannot fight against us; they cannot win this battle.

And the horror of what is happening to them is surely compounded in their minds by the empathy they feel for one another—an emotion that scientists have at last been able to demonstrate experimentally in elephants.

…well, there are several species that – my well-known opinions on the subject to the contrary – I feel bad about just killing.  Elephants are on that list; especially since they actually should go on my ‘proto-sentient’ list anyway. Their emotional complexity in particular suggests that there’s something there that should not be casually eliminated (and I’m not the only person to mention this: in fact, I first got the notion as a child reading Kipling).  All of which is to say, I find the poaching of elephants to be wicked in a way that I wouldn’t of, say, the Bengal tiger*.

Yeah, yeah, I’ll just go now and find a larch with which to be friends.

Via Hot Air.

Moe Lane

*Beautiful animals, graceful, powerful, but we’ve hunted them almost to extinction and they still refuse to learn not to eat humans.  Most other species have taken the hint by now.

3 Comments

  • BigGator5 says:

    I can understand hunting them for meat, but poachers are looking for the tusks (Ivory) and nothing more.
    .
    And you would think that elephant poachers would take a lesson from the American Alligator. The American Alligator was almost hunted to extinction for their skin and meat, but when we stopped, they exploded. Now we have a hunting season for them and there is still more than we can handle. Now alligator skin (and meat) is no longer illegal and widely avaible.
    .
    And even loggers have the good sense to replant the forest!

    • qixlqatl says:

      The populations where elephants live are mostly impoverished, aren’t they? Those tusks must look like ‘found money’ walking around, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon….

      • qixlqatl says:

        Oh, and mahogany poachers in the amazon are wiping those out, too. It’s just too lucrative for people who’s options are extremely limited.

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