The Elephant Issue in a Nutshell
“They say an elephant never forgets. What they don’t tell you is that you never forget an elephant.” Bill Murray.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a roller-coaster ride in terms of elephant hunting news. President Donald Trump recently announced that he would be loosening restrictions on killing elephants and importing elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe into the US. Under the Obama administration, trophy import permits for elephants had been banned; however, hunting enthusiasts have been trying to influence Trump administration to reverse the ban.
So, why would anyone want to lift the ban on importing elephant trophies? Well, the debate around this is highly controversial. Hunting enthusiasts argue that hunting is crucial for wildlife conservation because there are hunters who are willing to pay massive sums of money to kill one of these majestic creatures. They argue that this money then goes back into the conservation of the rest of the herd because it goes into law enforcement to prevent poachers from hunting elephants for ivory. However, what hunting enthusiasts fail to understand is the fact that African countries are often subjected to political unrest and to corruption. This is certainly not the ideal setting for nature conservation.
The announcement to lift the ban made by the Trump administration led to a public outcry with many celebrities campaigning against the lifting of the ban. Ellen DeGeneres responded by raising awareness about the situation on one of her shows. In DeGeneres’s eyes, and in the eyes of animal rights groups, the reversal of the ban is seen as encouraging Americans to kill elephants. DeGeneres decided to head the campaign, #BeKindToElephants, in an attempt to help support the efforts to conserve elephants. For each repost and retweet of the hashtag, #BeKindToElephants, DeGeneres vowed to make a donation to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The massive public outcry against the reversal of the ban has led Trump to put his decision on hold so that he may review ‘all conservation facts’.
‘I love elephants. And if you take the time to learn about elephants, you would love them too.’ – Ellen DeGeneres
So, what can you do to make a difference? Well, we suggest that joining the #BeKindToElephants campaign on social media would be a great start because not only will your retweets and reposts create awareness, but donations to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust will also be made for each retweet/repost. We also suggest signing the Human Society’s petition here to make a difference. Let’s help #saveourelephants… for our children and our children’s children.