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Monday, March 12, 2018

Make Big Game Trophy Hunting Illegal Again!

It is said that an elephant never forgets, and unfortunately for the elephant, the cliche' is quite true. In fact, when an elephant is killed the family members will grieve for quite some time. It has been reported that elephants will visit the graves of their dead family members for years on end. As elephants are known to be highly intelligent and sensitive, elephants have been spotted weeping tears of sorrow, just as humans weep at the loss of their loved ones. Elephants not only grieve their lost loved ones, but they have been spotted covering the corpses with branches and carrying the tusks to another location. The death of an elephant is terribly traumatic for their families, but even more so for the young babies. Just as a human baby can not survive without his or her mother, an elephant baby cannot survive without it's mother unless rescued. All elephants under the age of two do not survive the death of their mothers, unless they are rescued. Even when rescued most orphaned elephants do not survive. The elephant calves have been known to cry for months on end and are forever traumatized by the killings of their Mums. With this knowledge I ask, how can anyone promote or approve the killing of elephants?  
  In the early 1900s there were approximately 10 million elephants in Africa. Presently, there are a mere few hundred thousand. That number is quickly declining as approximately 100 plus elephants are killed daily. African elephants are currently protected under the Endangered Species Act as elephants are considered "vulnerable". "Vulnerable" is another way of saying that the species is somewhere between near threatened and endangered. In fact, elephants are listed as an endangered species on the International Union For Conservation of Nature's Red List of the conservation of animals. In other words, if our leaders don't take action to save the species, the African Elephant will no doubt become extinct. 

  Just last week, Fish and Wildlife made the decision to lift the Obama-era ban on the import of elephant trophies under the Endangered Species Act.  The decision was made due to the Obama administration's failure to follow the precise letter of law when creating the regulation banning big game trophies. Due to the idiocy of the Obama administration, the NRA and the Safari Club filed a lawsuit against Fish and Wildlife asking for the allowance of importing trophies on a case by case basis. Whether it's a case by case basis or the allowance of all trophies, the end result is the same. The end result is more elephants are killed and the species is not preserved as hunters and Fish and Wildlife would like to have people believe. 

   The fact is, allowing hunters to hunt the species legally does not save the species. While hunters would have the uninformed believe trophy hunting raises money for conservation, that just isn't the case. The fact is, the non-hunting tourists make-up 99% of the tourism economy. While only a very small fraction of hunting money actually benefits conservation. Hunters will also preach that hunting aids in keeping the populations at healthy levels. Wrong. Hunters many times choose to target the larger genetically strong individuals which results in a weakening of populations. Also of note when the larger male elephants are killed, the younger males often go on a rampage of attacking humans as they have no father figures and they view their society as in complete collapse. Evidence of hunting failing to aid in controlling the population levels has already been seen in Tanzania where lions have been over hunted. Hunters also many times kill the young leaving less of the species to reproduce. Hunters will also claim that trophy hunting creates jobs and money for the surrounding communities. Wrong again. Only 3% of monies from trophy hunts actually goes to the local communities. As many of the countries suffer from widespread corruption there is no guarantee as to where the money is dispersed. Furthermore, the allowance of big game trophies opens the door and encourages canned hunting. Canned hunting, big game trophy hunting, both should be banned once and for all. 

   As President Trump's campaign slogan was "make America great again", I am calling for the President to make big game trophy hunting illegal again. While at present the elephant is now a target for big game hunters, there is talk that lions are next on the Trump administration hit list. While many unknown supporters and non-supporters of President Trump tweeted angrily at the President's decision to lift Obama's ban on big game trophy hunting, there were famous supporters in angst over the decision as well. Long time Trump supporter, Laura Ingraham tweeted, "I don't understand how this move by @realDonaldTrump Admin will not INCREASE the gruesome poaching of elephants." Ingraham also tweeted a picture of the President's son, Eric holding an elephant tail in which she wrote, "Please @realDonaldTrump stick with your good instinct on this. We do NOT want to reward animal poaching. You will alienate independents & conservationists!" Stacy Dash, another Trump supporter who's presently running for Congress tweeted, "This entire practice needs to be banned @POTUS Please lead the world in eliminating these hunts and the ivory trade."

     An elephant never forgets, and with all due respect our President needs to know that many supporters will never forget this decision to overturn the ban on big game trophies. The decision to allow the import of elephant trophies is a poor decision, not to mention a heartless decision. With a population in the hundreds of thousands down from 10 million, this earth just can not afford the promoting of killing a species we are in danger of losing. For that matter this earth can not afford to lose a one of many species of animals. For imagine a world without the sound of the trumpet of an elephant, the roar of a lion, the "hoo hoo", of an owl , the tweet of a bird, the bark of a dog or the meow of a cat. For that is the world our generation is fast on the track to leaving future generations. I don't know about anyone else, but a world without the beauty and sounds of domestic and wild animals would be a pretty sad world at that. As the President has been tackling making America great again, the President needs to make big game trophy hunting illegal again.
(c)Sean Bianca GOPGIRL 2018

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