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Battle For The Elephants

March 29, 2013

Of all the intelligent, self-aware creatures under threat by man, the plight of the elephants is the most urgent and tragic. The reason is simple: they are being killed for the most indefensible of reasons (an Asian love of ivory trinkets), and the killing is so successful that 98% of the African population has been wiped out in a century, leaving a real possibility that African elephants will be extinct in as little as a decade.

That is an epic human failure–perhaps the most epic failure–to respect, steward, and conserve one of Earth’s most fascinating and iconic creatures.

Carl Safina is on it, and recommends the PBS special “Battle For The Elephants” as must-watch TV. It came out of Brian Christy’s epic National Geographic feature, Blood Ivory.

I hadn’t heard about it before, but dug around a bit.

Here’s the description from PBS:

The film tells the ultimate wildlife story — how the Earth’s most charismatic and majestic land animal today faces market forces driving the value of its tusks to levels once reserved for precious metals. Journalists Bryan Christy and Aidan Hartley take viewers undercover as they investigate the criminal network behind ivory’s supply and demand. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, one of the world’s main ports for smuggled ivory, Hartley attempts to buy large quantities of tusks from poachers. In China, Christy explores the thriving industry of luxury goods made from ivory and the ancient cultural tradition of ivory carving.

And here is the full episode:

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 29, 2013 4:25 pm

    It is such a senseless thing I feel, to kill an animal to distinction, then what. It breaks my heart to read about this. I have heard of it, but didn’t realise how bad it was. It is like the whaling industry with Japan, I don’t get it.

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