By: Betty Chu
Alison Kim Perry reports on what YOU can do to help end the poaching crisis in Africa. It's not entirely hopeless — so, read up and do you part!
Yes, it is true that a big difference can be made one person at a time. Elephants are being killed every day for their ivory tusks (their incisor teeth). To elephants, tusks are an essential body part. To poachers, they are a financial gold mine.
You have the power to speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves. Here are just a few ways to help you get started:
Donate. While many of us may not have the time or means to head to Africa, every dollar DOES count — you can make even the smallest contribution to the cause without even having to board a plane. Groups like WildAid and the World Wildlife Fund are focused on ending illegal wildlife trade. Hop over to their websites (links preceding), read about the organizations, and see if donating to them is a good fit for you.
Ask. Before you purchase those “pretty” ivory beads, chess sets and toy elephants to sit in your armoire, ask yourself — and more importantly, the retailer — if it’s worth the lives of the elephants that were taken to add these pearly trinkets to your collection. If there were not a huge consumer demand for ivory, there would be no need to wage a war against poachers.
March. The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos puts on various events around the globe including of simultaneous marches in 137 cites in October. The group posts many opportunities for people to get involved in various events on their facebook page. Log on to their website or Facebook page to find the closest event to you.
Post. We all love to share stories about cute kittens playing the piano on our Facebook page. And, who doesn’t post the pic of the rigatoni dish you ate for lunch on Instagram? So why not use the power of Social Media for meaningful content? Like, share and post news stories and web pieces about the illegal sale of ivory to make sure this topic spreads like wildfire to everyone in your circle and beyond. And, be sure to use the hashtag #IvoryFree to spread the word and encourage your network to sign the Ivory Free pledge!
Read. Many of us are not even aware that with the fast rate of poaching, elephants, rhinoceros and even tigers in Africa and Asia face the possibility of extinction in our lifetime. Imagine this: man could ultimately be responsible for the demise of these creatures. Get to know the history of these beautiful mammals and gain knowledge about the grave nature of their endangered statuses. Learn about the real implications of illegal wildlife trade. The World Wildlife Fund released the 10th edition of their Living Planet Index, reporting that we've lost half of our planet's wildlife in the last 40 years. Their full report would be a good place to start reading >>