Elephants: facts, cemeteries, poaching

Remember the random airplane, dolls and iceacream, odd cemeteries from Halloween? Well we have another one for the list , an elephant cemetery in Thailand.

A cemetery for privately owned elephants in Surin, Thailand, shows deep devotion. Thailand allows internal trading of ivory from domesticated Asian elephants, and smuggled African ivory finds its way into the mix.

How do they get the elephants in those “small” tombs?

  1. When an elephant dies, the body is buried in sand (first ceremony).
  2. It stays for a couple of years, so insects can clean it, until the bones are free.
  3. During a second ceremony, hip bones, cranium and other bones are brought to the elephant cemetery, and laid to rest in a specially designed tomb.

Facts about Elephants:

  1. Are the largest land mammals
  2. Vegetarians
  3. They have ability to communicate over long distances through vibrations
  4. An elephant is pregnant for 2 years
  5. Has calves every 4-5 years
  6. There are two main types of elephant, the Asian and the African, the latter being the biggest.
  7. Elephants are born with an advanced level of brain development, which they use to recognize the complex social structure of the herd and to feed themselves with their trunks.
  8. 25,000 elephants died last year by illegal poaching.

Ivory smuggling

  • The ivory trade is the commercial, often illegal trade in the ivory tusks of the hippopotamuswalrusnarwhal,[1]mammoth,[2] and most commonly, Asian and African elephants.
  • A single large tusk sold in the black market is worth $6,000 dlls. Enough to support a Kenyan worker for 10 yrs
  • From 1979-1989 an elephant died every 10 minutes.
  • Most of the worlds countries agreed to ban international trade of ivory in 1989 with exception of many African countries.
  • China legally bought 73 tons of ivory from Africa in 2008, poaching and smuggling have soared since then.

A sculpture like this can take a master carver years to produce.
“We hope—no, we insist—we can continue to protect these skills,” says Wang Shan, secretary-general of the China Arts and Crafts Association.

This 44-inch-long Chinese phoenix, carved in the 1920s, is one of a pair of tusks that sold in the U.S. for $24,400

  • In Asian countries, Ivory is though to remove bad spirits.
  • Ivory carving is an art. there are carving studios and 12 national master carvers.
  • Demand still grows in China. The government has licensed 35 carving factories and 230 ivory retail outlets.
  • There are 40,000 Asian elephants estimated to be left in the wild
  • Poachers are using poisoned watermelons to kill elephants so they wont attact guards with gunshots.
  • Elephant poaching has lead to also dead rangers and poachers
  • An x-ray in Bangkok last year found 247 large tusks, valued at $3 million dlls in shipping container of frozen mackerel from Kenya
  • Containers of recycled plastic found in Malaysia with 700 tusks bound for China.
  • A rented Chinese fishing boat returned from Philipinnes with 770 tusks.
  • Thailand allows internal trading of ivory from domesticated Asian elephants, and smuggled African ivory finds its way in the mix.
  • The US bans ivory imports

One thought on “Elephants: facts, cemeteries, poaching

  1. It is a great article.

    We have one great article about elephant: http://www.worldbook.com/specialty-sites/item/1722-habits-of-awesome-animals-elephant

    Though World Book own the copyright of the article, we would like to help more people learn about the amazing animal and help save the wild elephant. Please feel free to cite the article from World Book Encyclopedia. Only you have to do is to copy and paste this code with article:
    This article is fromWorld Book Encyclopedia.


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