Poachers just shot one of the world’s largest elephants, Satao, then hacked his 100 pound tusks out of his face with a machete. At the current rate of killing, elephants may be extinct in 15 years, but this week if we act now we have an amazing chance to crack down on the illegal trade that fuels the slaughter.
Each day, 50 regal elephants are butchered just to make dinky ivory trinkets! The main culprit for this carnage is Thailand — the fastest growing market for unregulated ivory. And tomorrow the international body created to protect endangered species has a chance to sanction Thailand until it cracks down on the elephant killers. Experts fear Thai leaders are mounting a propaganda campaign to dodge penalties, but it just takes the US and Europe to ignore their noise and spearhead action to end the slaughter.
Let’s give the US, and key European delegates, the global call they need to tune out Thailand and bravely lead the world to save the elephants. A final decision could be made tomorrow, so we have no time to lose — sign the petition, then send a message to the US Fish and Wildlife Service:
20,000 African elephants are killed every year, and the number of ivory products on sale in Bangkok trebled in the last 18 months. Government representatives to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) have the responsibility to keep the world’s rarest plants and animals alive, and when sanctions were applied to Thailand twenty years ago, it forced the country to pass critical wildlife protection laws.
Thailand says it’s hard to distinguish legal ivory from Thai elephants from smuggled African ivory, and that it has adopted an action plan to stop the ivory trade. But 20 years of delays and a recent military coup tell a different story. If we reach out to the ministers who set the position, we can get CITES to prevent Thailand exporting items like aquarium fish and exotic flowers until it cracks down on illegal ivory.
Right now CITES representatives are considering whether to sanction Thailand for its failure to stem the ivory trade. Let’s make a call directly to key delegates and the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure they make the right decision. Add your voice, then share widely:
Last year, the Avaaz community helped force Thailand to agree to ban the domestic ivory trade. But Thailand’s new military government has done little to show it will fulfil this promise or restrict this bloody business. Let’s show the strength of our community by issuing an enormous call to protect the lives of one of the world’s most precious species.
Alex, Danny, Alice, Nick, Lisa, Emma and the rest of the Avaaz team
World famous elephant ‘Satao’ killed by poachers in Kenya (Forbes)
The ivory highway (Men’s Journal)
Legal reform must shut down Thailand’s ivory trade (WWF)
Elephant population too small to supply huge local ivory market (Bangkok Post)
Major increase in Thai ivory market shows need for action at wildlife trade meeting (World Wildlife Fund)