As the morning sun lays a gentle hand across the valley, the young elephant cow remains hidden deep within the shadows of the thick bush. She is desperate to rinse off the uneasiness by bathing in the golden sunshine… but she is being pursued by heart wrenching echos and unsure of how to proceed. Lifting her muscular trunk, she inhales the sweet damp odour of rain on the breeze. Her coat of wrinkles hangs and there is a sadness in her eye as she fans her Africa shaped ears slowly. Her world seems crypt-quiet and motionless. She is 19 years old and the matriarchal duties that have been thrust onto her shoulders is a heavy burden for this young and inexperienced female to carry. It is essential that she is responsible enough to make some tough decisions in life for she must always consider, first and foremost, the well-being and safety of her family over and above the needs of any one individual that happens to fall on hard times. The small agitated herd are waiting impatiently…disturbed by the spirits of the dead as they are all moving into new realms of the unknown. A ravaging thirst has her leading them down to the fast flowing river where they take their fill washing down the choking and suffocating dust before disappearing back into the deep shadows of relative safety. The spell of the homeless winds whistles mournfully through the trees and the young matriarch in a moment of total self trust moves forward. Full of weighty concerns they ghost quietly through the bush, instinct urging her on ….she needs to weave a future for them all from this violent and tangled past.
A storm of memory has her temporal glands flowing and her heavy heart pounding violently against her rib cage as the currents of evil pulsate in the air. They slip through the shadows touching and caressing family members whose remains lie torn and bleeding into the dry earth. Squadrons of flies, excited by the smell of rotting flesh swarm hungrily over the carcasses. The young matriarch, a trumpet of rage piercing the thick air chases a cackle of hyenas that cavort and whoop loudly, long tendrils of spittle hanging from their ravenous mouths….but she is fighting a losing battle and the small desolate herd move on, vanishing across the twilight. The slow moving mist rises above the valley like an eerie phantom veil.
Entombed….. the ivory tusks which have been cut into pieces are suffocating under dozens of kilograms of cashew nuts…and on route to China. Each piece of stolen ivory tusk carries with it…an air of sadness and a tale of suffering and death. The unlucky hosts of these pieces of ivory lie spreadeagled and rotting deep within the sun burnt African bush.
It is estimated that a seizure rate of 10% in a developed country is considered “good” for general goods contraband – which includes ivory. This suggests that so far this year, an estimated 177,993kg (178 tonnes) of ivory has been illegally trafficked representing 19,400 elephants killed.
As the golden sunset casts out the remainder of a day, a young girl of 19, her raven black hair shimmering as it swings back and forth on her petite shoulders walks at a steady pace down the busy street, her high heels clipping the pavement with a delicate sound. Her slender arm is stretched out in front of her and she stares down, her dark brown eyes admiring the jewelry on her pale wrist. Creamy and intricately carved bangles jingle as she walks and a small smile of satisfaction sits happily upon her lips. IF IVORY COULD TALK….she would be able to picture the scene of mutilated and bloated carcasses rotting in the African bush. She would hear the terrified screams as bullets tear into flesh and the stench of their blood would fill her nostrils. Her heart would hammer painfully as the young matriarch whose older sisters and mother have been mown down to fulfill China’s demand for ivory is caught up in the evil web of human greed and deceit and unsure of how to lead her herd and keep them safe. She would look down on the ivory bangles encircling her wrist and feel their pain and sorrow searing into her flesh…..she would, I hope…..SAY NO TO IVORY and become a voice for the voiceless.
Some of Africa’s most notorious armed groups, including the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Shabab and Darfur’s janjaweed, are hunting down elephants and using the tusks to buy weapons and sustain their mayhem. Organized crime syndicates are linking up with them to move the ivory around the world, exploiting turbulent states, porous borders and corrupt officials from sub-Saharan Africa to China, law enforcement officials say.
PLEASE DO NOT LOOK THE OTHER WAY
THE RANGERS AND THE WILDLIFE NEED OUR SUPPORT