AG 401-Topic Paper One- Battle for Elephants-Layla Amiri - Running Head BATTLE FOR THE ELEPHANTS Battle For The Elephants Layla L Amiri California State

AG 401-Topic Paper One- Battle for Elephants-Layla Amiri -...

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Running Head: BATTLE FOR THE ELEPHANTS 1 Battle For The Elephants Layla L Amiri California State Polytechnic University Of Pomona
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BATTLE FOR THE ELEPHANTS 2 One of the world's most majestic and beguiling animals is in much danger and on the way to extinction, the elephant. The tusks on the elephant, which are pure ivory, are in high demand and can be sold for a lot of money (Kelley,2013). The most popular ivory demands are in China where the people there thrive off ivory luxury goods made of ivory and the ancient cultural tradition of ivory (Kelley,2013). In fact, according to the document PBS National Geographic 2013 Battle For Elephants, " 80 percent of the Chinese middle class own at least one or more pieces of ivory and further some 84 percent say they intend to buy ivory in the future" (PBS,Battle For Elephants). The National Geographic presents a documentary titled "Battle For The Elephants(BFE)" where journalists Bryan Christy and Aidan Hartley go undercover and inside the criminal network to discover behind the ivory's supply and demand (Kelley,2013). The documentary shows just how valuable the ivory industry is and Christy discovers how illegal trade of ivory is taking place and Christy even gets camera crew to film the historic even of Tanzania, where they store the world's largest stock pile of elephant tusks, 90 metric tons valued at 50 million (Kelley,2013). However, although the idea of killing these innocent animals seems wrong, there is more to it, the culture of the Chinese see ivory as more than just an object and it is culturally valuable to them. According to the PBS.National.Geographic.2013.Batte for the elephants, "CITES has found that 70 something elephants are poached each day". Today as few as 400,000 elephants are existent on this planet (Guilford,2013) and according to Jeffrey Gettleman who wrote the article "Elephants Dying in Epic Frenzy as Ivory Fuels Wars and Profit" in 2012, " Last year, poaching levels in Africa were at their highest since international monitors began keeping detailed records in 2002. And 2011 broke the record for the amount of illegal ivory seized worldwide, at 38.8 tons (equaling the tusks from more than 4,000 dead elephants)". However, according to China and 2
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BATTLE FOR THE ELEPHANTS 3 their culture, there can be an ethical justification of why they are hunting down these animals. Brian Christy, in the documentary "PBS.National.Geographic.2013.BFE", talks to ivory shop owners and finds that it is more than ivory to the people of China, to them it is a way to reconnect and relate to their ancestors, which is very valuable to them and dates back hundreds of years ago. Also, in the Buddhist culture elephants represent to them happiness and joy and they even believe the elephant smiles as it dies knowing it's ivory is being used (PBS,2013). In
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