On January 1, 2018, China’s ivory trade ban went into effect. That means selling or buying ivory products in stores or online in China is now illegal. Plus – it is also illegal to enter China with ivory products purchased from overseas; and in serious cases, people who buy or sell ivory products will be criminally investigated.
The Invisible Price for Illegal Ivory Trade
Despite its milky, white hue, illegal ivory should also be associated with a thick, red blood color. Each piece of ivory represents the death of one elephant and many wildlife rangers. Loss of life is the true price for illegal ivory trade.
More than 100 wildlife rangers and conservationists in Africa are killed every year by poachers. Both men and women do these very dangerous jobs, facing a threat of death while out patrolling and protecting the endangered animals. When they put on their uniform and set out into the wilderness, they know poachers are out there, well-armed and ready to kill for their prize.
Photo Credit: Brookings Institution
Being a wildlife ranger is an important job not only for animals but also for each ranger’s family. A majority of wildlife rangers across the African continent are quite young and their job is their household’s main source of income. In the sad event of their murder, the wildlife ranger leaves behind a broken family, massive grief and economic struggle.
In addition to the rangers who have been killed by the poachers, many others have suffered serious injury during such confrontations, and cannot go back to their work again.
Let’s not let the lives of rangers and conservationists be a forgotten price for illegal ivory trade!
Ushering in a Peaceful Future!
As one of the world’s largest consumers of ivory, China’s ivory market has been assumed to be one of the important factors leading to large-scale ivory poaching and the rapid decline in the number of elephants in Africa.
Therefore, China’s ivory ban affirms the need to protect elephants, and shows respect for the rangers and conservationists – the unsung heroes who defend and protect nature and wildlife around the world.
Virunga National Park Rangers (DRC) on an anti-poaching patrol
Photo Credit: Soldier Systems Daily