The Pennsylvania legislature has a bill before them–HB1537–which, if voted in, will have an impact on elephants. How could ivory be an issue in PA – we don’t exactly have savannas and scrublands? True, but the United States is the second largest ivory market in the world (according to National Geographic) and the largest ivory bust in history was in Philadelphia. Philadelphia plays a key role in the ivory trade.
If you feel inclined to help, you can:
- Send the letter (below the photograph) to the “Letters to the Editor” section of your newspaper.
- Call your PA congressperson and ask them to support HB1537. To find your local state representative: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
Use #ivoryfreePA for social media.
For more information, visit www.elephantsdc.org
According to National Geographic and African Wildlife Foundation: One elephant is killed for ivory on average every 15 minutes. At this rate, wild elephants face extinction within one decade – yes, within our lifetime. As someone who has been fortunate enough to actually see and interact with elephants in their habitats in Africa and Thailand, I have contacted my state and local representatives to ask them to support HB1537, a bipartisan PA bill, to ban ivory and rhino horn sales. Without my help, the bill may not pass.
How could ivory be an issue in Pennsylvania – we don’t exactly have savannas and scrublands? True, but the issues are these:
- The United States is the second largest ivory market in the world (according to National Geographic) and the largest ivory bust in history was in Philadelphia. Philadelphia plays a key role in the ivory trade.
- “When the buying stops – the killing will stop too!” – quoted from WildAid.org
- The ivory trade funds terrorism and directly funds Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, Janjaweed, Boko haram, among other terrorist organizations (Bryan Christy – National Geographic).
- New ivory is being “antiqued” to look like old ivory and is being sold on the open market. (National Geographic)
- While the US government restricts export, import, and interstate commerce of ivory and rhino horn, intrastate traffic is not regulated and only passage of HB1537 can achieve that. Other states have already adopted similar legislation such as New Jersey, New York, etc. (public information)
Contacting my State Representatives was easy: I searched them online, called and said I’m a constituent, and urged them to support HB1537 to end the ivory and rhino trade in Pennsylvania.
Speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves, I thank you.
[your name here]
[your town, PA here]
photo from http://www.elephantsdc.org photo gallery
Mfuwe Lodge was built in Zambia in 1998 in the middle of a path that elephants take mango trees yearly. The structure has not deterred them. Every year when the mango trees’ fruit is ripe, the elephant herd arrives, peacefully tromp through the hotel’s reception area, descends the stairs into the courtyard, and feast on the fruits. The matriarch, Wonky Tusk, brings her two-week-old baby, Lord Wellington, along, in an unprecedented show of trust between wild elephants and humans. Short piece by wildlife photographer Nathan Pilcher.