children? think of the animals!

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            Across the continent of Africa, various species of elephants are being slaughtered for profit. These hunters are killing the elephants and taking the ivory from their tusks and using it to make products such as religious artifacts. This has been a typical theme when producing animal based products such as fur coats and et cetera, but the number of killings have been escalating within the past decade.  In the National Geographic article, it estimates that nearly: "25,000 elephants were killed in 2011". If these numbers continue to rise, elephants might become extinct due to population decay. The article goes on to elaborate on why these elephants are being killed and used. "Their tusks smuggled into countries to be carved into religious artifacts: ivory baby Jesuses and saints for Catholics in the Philippines, Islamic prayer beads for Muslims and Coptic crosses for Christians in Egypt, amulets and carvings for Buddhist in Thailand". Here, the demand for Ivory usage is not only relevant in the United States but also all over Asia. These religious people need the ivory to make profit off of these figurines to sell to believers and consumers. But, there are better resources to make these figurines such as wood and iron.


            Not only are elephants being killed but also sloths are being constantly killed for value.  The pygmy three toed sloth is on the endangered species list; this species can only be found off the coast of Panama. According to this article, the sloths face a "bleak future". Humans need to take advantage of these environmental initiatives in order to keep these species extant for people not only to study but also to enjoy; animal conservation is a necessity of nature.  This article also goes into detail about 100 species that scientists definitely know will become extinct if no environmental or collective concern is initiated: the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature are cited in the piece of literature. 

Animal conservation is an issue that continues to build as time goes on. this issue needs to be acted upon by not only scientists but also politicians; they hold the public with their words so they need to be informative about the consequences of a species disappearing from eco-systems. 


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In 2010 I visited Kruger National Park in South Africa. To my surprise the nearly extinct elephant population I heard about from home was just the opposite. Massive overpopulation wrecked reserves to the point where other species were at risk. Though poaching may still be an issue in some more undeveloped countries, the level of enforcement has increased drastically in recent years. Another rather unknown fact is that majority of all African reserve's funding come from big game hunters. While hunters are demonized in most of the world, the real issue is the poaching and illegal trade that takes place between local people. It makes sense.. Why would hunters pay so much to endanger the species that they prize so greatly?

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