Born Free USA's Rosalyn Morrison, a leading expert on international wildlife trade issues is in Honolulu from Washington DC, testifying at a committee hearing, advocating for the passage of a Hawaii state bill (HB837/SB674) which would ban the sale and trade of ivory or rhinoceros horn in the state – the third largest U.S. market for ivory products.
An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 elephants are poached every year. An average of 96 elephants are slaughtered daily. More than 103,000 elephants have been killed since January 2012.
More than 1,000 rhinos are killed each year in South Africa alone and some rhino populations could become extinct in the wild in as little as 12 years.
The US can show the rest of the world that our country will not let elephants and rhinos be pushed to extinction for trinkets. Ivory prices have crept back up to historic highs at $2,000 per kilo.
If this does not change, these animals will continue seeing their families ripped apart for trinkets, grieving each loss with heartfelt pain. The matriarchal elephant herds with grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, aunts, cousins all living together for decades are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
As proven in two groundbreaking reports from Born Free Ivory's Curse and Out of Africa, illegal ivory trafficking is exploited by transnational criminal networks that enable terrorism, weapons, and human trafficking, feeding devastating violence and instability in Africa. Poaching today is intertwined with violent militias, organized crime, and government corruption in central Africa, including such high-profile terrorist groups as Janjaweed and the Lord's Resistance Army.
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