Despite the news earlier in October that the UK government are discussing a full ivory ban, there are still several other factors at play that are decreasing the elephants’ population in the wild. Except for slaughtering elephants for their ivory tusks, people are also killing the poor animals for their skin in some other parts of the world.
The Cruel Fashion
A record number of elephants in Asia are losing their lives to cater to a new fashion trend that uses the elephant skin to make jewelry, including bracelets and necklaces, according to the latest reports. As Monica Wrobel, Head of Conservation at wildlife charity Elephant Family, said: “These elephants were killed to order. The herd was tracked, slaughtered, and every bit of skin taken.”
The elephant’s skin is removed from the body soon after the animal has been killed, usually by a poison dart. Then, the skin is polished and made into beads in blood-red color and sold as jewelry pieces for up to £75 each. What caused this trend was an Asian belief that these beads could ward off illnesses.
Smuggling and Trade
While these elephants are now being killed in Myanmar, the skin is being smuggled to Xishuangbanna, South West China, the place where the demand currently lies. Additionally, investigators have found that the bracelets are being sold widely on Chinese websites.
During some investigations that were conducted previously in 2017, up to sixty-six elephant trunks were seized in only one haul, and demand for the jewelry is increasing, meaning that there is a brutal incentive for even more elephants to be killed for their skin. According to reports, if this cruel trade continues to grow at its current rate, those elephants, which are already in danger, could be facing the brink of extinction within just two years.
Image Credit: Elephant Family / HANDOUT FROM WWF
This article (People In China Are Removing The Skins Of Elephants To Make Jewelry) was published by Thinking Humanity and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to ThinkingHumanity.com
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