It is getting worse. In 2011 various authorities in Africa confiscated 24 tonnes of illegal ivory, more than double of that previous year. It is estimated that this means about 2,500 elephants. Mature elephants’ tusks during the bad colonialist era used to weigh over 80 kg, and were up to 3 metres long, but now calves are being slaughtered. Ammunition then preferred would be .375 H&H, .416 Rigby, .460 Weatherby Magnum (12.1mm), .470 Nitro Express or similar heavies whereas now ubiquitous Kalashnikov 7.62 mm suffice.
Preferred method of transport is in shipping containers from Tanzania or Kenya via Malaysia to China, Thailand or Japan. Sometimes it is more economical to ship via Cairo. If necessary, Chinese smugglers flash their diplomatic passports. [Fog of Chaos – Jumbo]
China has been the main importer. Since 2004 the number of ivory items for sale there had grown by 50%. There is some legal ivory on the market from elephants which died from natural causes or were shot to protect people or crops. The ivory trade ban was imposed in 1989, almost a quarter of century ago, but some African countries have seemingly inexhaustible stock of pre-dated tusks. These are sold as required, usually when a new model Mercedes comes on the market. China predictably subscribes and equally predictably ignores the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It is estimated that less than half of ivory offered for sale in China is legal. Wholesale price of legal ivory is $900 a kilogram, with average tusk weighing 5-9 kg. Only one shop in ten has the license.
So what is the Chinese politburo, otherwise quite efficient in cracking down on dissidents and non-party law-breakers, doing about it? Naturally – something loud and visible to the easily bamboozled West – they authorised a TV campaign to educate the purchasers.
Mentioning the easily deceived West, comrade Combet springs to mind. As part of a deliberate deception to conceal the forthcoming disastrous effect of the misnamed Carbon Tax, the Minister for Climate Change waxes lyrical about China’s environmental credentials. [econews] That these exist only in the occasional official announcement of future promises cannot stop hard-hearted and soft-headed socialists. The meme of the myth of China doing something good for the environment and mending its mendacious way spreads. The simpletons are parroting the promised billions as if they were real. “There are these pilot schemes being generated within China. In the Asia-Pacific region there is scope in the years to come for us to develop quite an integrated approach. A common carbon price could evolve from that, between our economies, which removes any issue of competitive disadvantage,” Combet said.
China will say anything she would consider advantageous at any given time, knowing that the West has neither the means, nor any desire to verify. [Fog of Chaos – Chinese elephants’ sunset?]
And out of Africa a Bantu nursery tale: A woman left her children in a hut while she went to look for firewood. An elephant came by and swallowed the two children, leaving a little girl who happened to be staying with them and who told the mother, on her return, what had happened. The woman set out to look for the elephant, asking all the animals she met where she could find an elephant with one tusk, which had eaten her children. They told her to go on till she came to a place where there were white stones on the ground under some high trees. She found the elephant with one tusk there, and asked it the same question. It also told her to go on, and, when she persisted, swallowed her too.
I am not sure what is supposed to be the moral of this story – Don’t ask Chinese elephant any questions so that you do not get swallowed?
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