on 3 December 2013
This book was first published in 2013, has 193 pages, 19 chapters, 28 colour photos but no maps. The book is dedicated to RONALD ORENSTEIN's father 'CHARLES'. The foreword is by Iain Douglas Hamilton OBE. For many reasons, elephants and rhinos are been slaughtered. This book takes one through history and explanation as to how we got into this situation and suggests some of the ways to get out of it. There are some extreme cruelty stories in this book along with bloody pictures. People are afraid to speak out and the meetings are usually held far away from where the killing fields are. This book deals with live elephants and rhinos, ivory and horn trade, corruption, theft and organised crime, poverty and crisis in the elephant and rhino numbers.
Today, elephant ivory and rhino (Nose horn) horn have become currencies of war. There has been widespread and catastrophic decline of 63% of forest elephants. The Sumatran doubled horn rhino is one of the most endangered large mammals on earth today. The demand of ivory among the new Chinese wealthy is destroying the world's elephants. Chinese believe that the elephant tusks(xiang-ya) or teeth grow again like human teeth! There is no practical way to get ivory from a wild elephant and leave the animal alive. It is now believed that rhino horn as an aphrodisiac, is only a story. Myths of using rhino horn to detect poison and ward away evil spirits still exist. The main market for rhino horn is Yemen, where it is used as a handle for dagger (Jambiya). However, there is now a new market for this in Vietnam.
Large scale poaching of elephants and rhino is a commercial enterprise today. The other issue is PRICE and PROFITS and corruption in high places. The rhino horn trade was banned in 1975 and the elephant ivory trade in 1989. Despite CITES ban, the illegal poaching got worse. By 1989, Kenya had only 20% of its black rhinos left since 1970 figures. Black rhinos could only be protected in private areas and by anti-poaching patrols. Ivory was still been sold to Japan and China (in Nov 2009, 101,767 tonnes!) Poaching also increased in South Africa, by white Afrikaans, including landowners, wildlife veterinarians and game-capture professionals!, exporting horns to Vietnam and Thailand. Hong Kong City has the largest numbers of ivory horns on sale anywhere in the world. 90% of passengers arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, with ivory were Chinese Nationals. 50% of the poaching in Kenya happens within 20 miles of its 5 massive Chinese road building projects. Trophy hunting still goes on in South Africa.
The 'blood ivory' trade has been built on war in Africa. The rhino horn is the most valuable wildlife product in the world ($65,000/kg). This now leads to theft of horns and ivory, from private collectors or ware houses or museums or stock-piles. So what can be done?:- (1) Effective anti-poaching operations (2) Control the trade in ivory and rhino horn (3) pass legislation and impose stricter penalties (4) improve local peoples lives (5) continuation of CITES ban on commercial trade (6) reducing demand by massive public education and awareness campaign, to stop buying any ivory or horn. When the buying STOPS, the killing can TOO.
Some other books of interest are:-
(1) Tsavo Story, Dame Daphne Sheldrick 1973
(2) Ivory Crisis, Ian Parker 1983
(3) Battle For the Elephants, Iain Douglas Hamilton 1992
(4) To Save an Elephant, A Thornton 1992
(5) When Elephants Weep, J Masson 1996
(6) Elephant Destiny, M Meridith 2003
(7) The Secret Elephants, Gareth Patterson 2010
(8) Killing For Profit, J Rademeyer 2012
(9) The Rhino Keepers, C Walker 2012
(10)Earth to Sky, M Nichols 2013
Having born in Kenya, I found this book interesting.
on 20 November 2013
This is a must read book for anyone concerned with escalating elephant and rhino poaching. At times depressing, it goes into great depth and explains why opening the trade ban on selling horn and ivory is the worst possible course of action, and unless we act now and start educating and changing the desire for the multitude of reason's that people want to acquire horn and ivory, these species will become extinct. Completely up to date as only published earlier this year (2013). There is hope if we act now!
on 17 December 2013
The author demonstrates his deep knowledge of the subject in a highly readable manner. He provides a great insight into the seldom well-understood political and diplomatic decision-making processes that determine how trade in endangered species is regulated. Whilst setting out his own views on the rights and wrongs of some of the historical decisions, and some that may soon have to be taken, he does so in an objective manner.