War Against The Elephants

Elephants are fighting a battle of ‘survival’. A battle against humans and their sophisticated weapons is a fight that these elephants cannot win on their own. Humans are waging a war against these enigmatic animals because the elephants own something that humans want. WHY, I ask again. Holding my breath, ‘would you want to own something that is so symbolic of suffering and death?’

image of satoa from the Sunday Telegraph

Again, as I have mentioned before I feel like I am writing pages of inadequate words as I think sadly about the death of one of the last remaining tuskers, Satao. His rhythm of life has been rudely and savagely broken and his tusks butchered from his face. As the world watches, this devils highway is fast becoming a hauntingly lonely road of grey ghosts. Why, my mind screams do we think that we human beings have the right to wreck such havoc on this planet we call earth. Justice comes from the same place as being human: compassion. What will become of this magnificent elephant bull’s tusks? Where are they going to end up? His personal treasures will be smuggled out of Kenya and into a carving factory in China some 9 2014 km away. Here they will be carved and fashioned into trinkets: for humans.

What is it about an elephant’s tusks that make humans want to own a piece of them?  Is it that consumers of ivory want to hold onto a deep feeling of belonging or are they just trying to capture a piece of the magic that surrounds the elephant? I do not know why. We all know what poachers and traffickers make out of these filthy deals, but what makes the demand so unquenchable? What is it that makes this elongated cone like shapes of dentine so highly sought after?

Ivory, when it is dead has an uneasy grandeur about it. Nothing can come close to the beauty of ivory on an elephant. It has a warmth and lustre that pulses with life and personality. Ivory belongs to elephants and has no use to man. For whatever different reasons humans want to own a piece of ivory for we all know that it comes at a great cost to the unfortunate elephants that supply the demand. Hundreds and thousands of these sentient creatures come under fire every year. Their tusks, ruthlessly butchered from their faces to feed the bottomless pit that the ivory demand has become. Elephants and other wildlife are irreplaceable riches and have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Every muscle in my body tightens, and my mind screams at me. THIS IS WRONG and it is UNACCEPTABLE. As human beings, can they not see that what they are doing is morally wrong? These magnificent and sentient creatures are more compassionate than the human predators that are wrecking such destruction and havoc. In 2012, some 35 000 elephants were cruelly slaughtered to feed the demand for ivory.  With China and Thailand’s increasing affluence, as well as an expanding middle class elsewhere in Asia, the demand for ivory and rhino horn is out of control. When the two-legged being gets greedy, the animals will disappear: sad but true.

We all need to turn east and face the dawn. Our beloved African bush and walking treasures are under attack. We, as compassionate and caring people can play a part in the fight against poaching, no matter how small. My heart and passion lies firmly with these magnificent animals no matter in which country they leave their footprints on the sand.  I am also patriotic about my home country Zimbabwe and have been privileged enough to have spent many sun kissed days on Kariba and in the Zambezi valley where in both destinations, we have been fortunate enough to witness these giants on many occasion.  I do all that I can do to raise awareness of the rampant poaching sweeping through the continent. I also raise awareness for Chengeta Wildlife whose mission is to empower local law enforcement in Africa in the fight against the poaching of Elephants.

rory young and rangersrory young cause

One last thought, ‘as the warm rays of sun pay their last respects to what has been a glorious day in this sun burnt land, the heavy silence of loss ushers twilight into darkness. The African bush could be facing a future minus the very essence that adds to its magic.’

ODE TO SATAO…(my poem)


7 thoughts on “War Against The Elephants

  1. Your anguish is so tangible in your writting Jen, you made me weep. I just hope there’s enough of us to rise against this awful, awful tyrant of man’s greed and wastelessness to stop the ruthless killing of these magnificent animals.

  2. Another thought provoking piece Jen. Man’s materialism and lust for more and more money is the downfall of all aspects of nature causing extinction of so many creatures. We can only live in hope that this can be stopped before it is too late.

  3. This weeks blog has a haunting feel to it! It is beautifully written and your poem is amazing …. I feel so sad to be called a part of this world that is so materialistic and savage….but then I think of all the good people out in the world spreading kindness, love and protecting our wildlife and hope that we all outweigh the evil……keep fighting we are all behind you Jen! Xxx

  4. Written with such compassion ! A great tribute to Satao who sadly was a victim to yet again man’s greed!!

  5. I am so sad today for the world’s loss of Sataeo. Yes, this is everyone’s loss. To continue to allow the deaths of rhinos and elephants and not do anything or very little to prevent it, and to such weak sentences is grossly wrong and says very little for the legal system and the security or lack thereof. My question is…where is all the money going that is comitted to conservation efforts? If it is not going into tighter around the clock uniformed security, better weapons, better technology, if the legal system is not making changes in the law and punishing the criminals immediately with life sentences…even death penalties in some cases, then someone is not paying attention, and are living lavish lifestyles on my dime. I pay my taxes here in the US, and I know that millions has been appropriated towards preventing this from happening. Our millions are mega millions in African countries, so are these slaughters going on everyday, with no let up? This is a war against the wildlife, so treat it as such. I am so sick of all this criminal behavior, evil activity, lax goverment, and greedy countries that have raised the demand of tusk and horn. This is a very sad day indeed.

  6. “THIS IS WRONG and it is UNACCEPTABLE!” These words perfectly describe my feelings too. We cannot allow this to continue.
    Thank you for your dedication to this cause Jenny. If we all do what we can, together we will stop this madness!

  7. Thank you Jen – you have put into words my thoughts on this issue – why oh why do humans do this, are they blind, cannot they not see what they are doing to the world. What is the world they want to leave for their descendants? A word that has no compassion, where one is judge only by possessions and how well one is doing in “one’s career”. Too much technology will ruin the world – no one will ever have the time to sit back and enjoy nature, there will not be any. I am glad that I will not be around for that day, hopefully I will be in a better place where elephants, rhinos, tigers, lions – all animals are lving free and at one with me and my kind!

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