Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Haley Reading Group: Bryan Christy’s “Tracking Ivory”


[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2016)]

Cynthia A. Campbell

Bryan Christy’s article “Tracking Ivory” focuses on the slaughter of African elephants for their tusks. Christy illuminates the need to follow the route from the initial slaughter of the elephants to the destination of the plundered tusks. Ultimately, the article speaks to Sudan’s complicity in slaughtering elephants and allowing violent militias to trade confiscated ivory for financial and military gain.

Christy’s discussion of the statistics of the number of elephants killed was especially enlightening. At one point, Christy notes that “some 30,000 African elephants are slaughtered every year, more than 100,000 between 2009 and 2012” (14). This point indicates that there is an alarming possibility that elephants can and/or will become extinct.

After reading Christy’s article, what was one point concerning the plight of African elephants that caught your attention? Why was that point or passage important to you? Please provide a page number citation.

72 comments:

Zaria Whitlock said...

Christy demonstrates the drastic changes that have occurred in the population of elephants by saying, "He'd grown up not far from Garamba at a time when it was possible to fly over the park and see 5,000 elephants in a single gathering. Now it was rare to see 250 in a herd" (Christy p. 12). This concerned me because it has shown how the poachers have drastically changed the natural habitat of the elephants. Elephants can no longer roam freely and live peaceful lives without being in harms way.

Zaria W.

Zaria Whitlock said...

Christy demonstrates the drastic changes that have occurred in the population of elephants by saying, "He'd grown up not far from Garamba at a time when it was possible to fly over the park and see 5,000 elephants in a single gathering. Now it was rare to see 250 in a herd" (Christy p. 12). This concerned me because it has shown how the poachers have drastically changed the natural habitat of the elephants. Elephants can no longer roam freely and live peaceful lives without being in harms way.

Zaria W.

Kelsey W said...

It was just so incredibly shocking to me that these poachers could be so heartless to kill these beautiful animals who are not even hurting anything or anyone. On page 12, Christy talks about the park in Garamba and how 42 elephant carcasses were found with bullet holes. Picturing them laying there just makes me sick to my stomach. A lot of it could be helped if there government was more intact in places such as Sudan where many poachers come form. I have heard and seen stuff about elephant poachers but seeing the numbers and how in depth this chapter got just made it all much more real.

Crystal R. said...

One part in the passage concerning the plight of African elephants that caught my attention was when it said, "And someone- it's unclear who- is believed to be killing elephants from helicopters, as evidenced by bullet holes in the tops of skulls and the removal of tusks by can only be chainsaws," (12). This was concerning to me because it shows how ruthless people can be just to obtain one thing (ivory in this case). The decline of African elephants is so apparent and sad that something must be put in place to stop poaching.

Crystal R.

Sandra Yokley said...

One point concerning the plight of African elephants that caught my attention was its relationship to the political climate and war. Ivory became "ammunition" (page 8-9). The continued murder of elephants and collection of ivory demonstrated that peace talks weren't desired anymore. It was symbolic and twisted because the lead peace negotiator, Vincent Otti, liked elephants and their demise precedes his execution.

Jordan Robinson said...

Since the article begins with Christy mentioning a processes of finding a way to mimic elephant tusks (3), much of the beginning of the article shows how the monetary value of ivory effects Africa. A point correlating to the hunting of African elephants that caught my attention was how the militia/terrorist groups, who are finding ways to maintain funds and power through ivory sells, are abducting children who are then "forced to do horrible things" (5).

Mikaela S said...

One point concerning the plight of African elephants that caught my attention can be found on page 12. It truly amazed me when the author stated, "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants". I never realized that this was such a huge problem! It is very sad for the animals, but also that humans feel that doing this (especially in these large amounts) is ok.

Joshua Jones said...

Kony's involvement in the ivory trade was intriguing to me. I had no idea that Kony dealt with the sort. Aside from his usual infamy, his poaching of elephants was shocking since I had only known him to be a war lord that vandalizes villages.
As stated on page 9, the ivory was salvaged for "ammunition." This was important because I did not believe that Kony was killing the animals for sport. It gave a logical reasoning behind such a terrible decision.

Josh J.

Anonymous said...

The reading was very interesting, yet heartbreaking. It was so disheartening to learn just how rough the elephants have it and how complicit Sudan is to the poaching of African Ivory. With ties to Janjaweed, the poachers use Africa as an arena to kill elephants for ammunition. The inhumanity of these militiamen and the government speaks to the overall culture.

Shelby Washington

Bryce Barker said...

It shocked me that the villages knew their elephants were in trouble and would stop at nothing to protect them. On page 10 Christy is called a liar because a wildlife expert thought the tusks were real and was ready to put a poacher in jail possibly saving one more elephant. Then again on page 14 anti poachers would guard the elephants to make sure they weren't being poached. Even though most of the men didn't survive the attack they sacrificed their lives to protect the wildlife that they held close to their hearts.

Kenisha Townsend said...

In this article, I was really alarmed at the fact the Sudanese government militias are supporting the poaching of elephants for ivory (p.15). If the government doesn't work to help end the crisis facing elephants, then work from others is much harder (park rangers).This was important to me because the government is a higher authority than the rangers.Therefore, this says plenty in itself about the Sudanese government. Additionally, if elephants do become extinct, it may cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Asher said...

On page 12 where Christy talks about the recent death tolls of elephants really made my stomach turn, because when I think of Africa, I think of the extensive wild life, and to read that people have been killing it, is sad. The number of 1500 elephants being killed is so alarming. Poaching is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. And, if it is not done by the country, I truly believe that the UN should interfere, because yes, these are animals, but they should be spoken for even though they do not have a voice to speak.

- Asher Denkyirah

JaLeah M . said...

Locals such as poor people and park rangers who go unpaid kill elephants for cash and without fear due to repercussions that are not heavily enforced (4). I think this point caught my attention the most because it just goes to show how money is rooted in the center of everything that goes on in the world. The desperation for money will make anyone do just about anything! I never knew the elephants were killed for profit and find it concerning, with the possibility that these animals can go extinct. I also feel there will be a lot of individuals who do not see this as an issue because a numerous amount of other animals are killed on a daily basis (i.e deer, cows, pigs etc).

Aliyah Johnson said...

One quote that interest me is the one when the narrator compares ivory to money. The narrator says, "In the criminal world, ivory operates as currency, so in a way I'm asking Dante to print counterfeit money I can follow" (3). Even while reading about the the importance of elephants and the hinting toward the possibility of their extinction, i still did not completely grasp their significance until this quote. the quote helped to clear it up.

Natasha said...

This is a very concerning topic for me because I love animals and have been a vegetarian for 8 years. I do not support the meat industry and certainly do not support elephant poaching either. It shocks me how unethically people will act just for a profit. Unfortunately, elephants are already endangered and it's painful for me to admit that yes, I think they will become extinct in the next one hundred years or so. On page 12, when the author describes the rangers seeing 42 carcasses with bullet holes, my heart dropped. I cannot imagine witnessing something like that. It's horrific. I feel terrible especially for the kids in that area who have to wake up and view something so horrible.

Anonymous said...

It was interesting reading this because I have just recently done a paper on the morality of hunting. The hunting of elephants was an example of a unacceptable for of hunting because there is no maximum utility of killing an elephant. I don't blame the people in poverty for their killing of elephants, because their lives depend on it. But the people piggishly wanting it for something as petty as war and profit, they are to blame. Animals kill each other for one reason: direct preservation of life. And when I see examples of animal murder that only hinders the lives of people (violence that can be seen non-exclusively on page nine), it only makes the needless killing of these animals worse.

-Querra Mason

Brandy Collier said...

The reading was very interesting but also very sad. Christy's experience is very eye-opening to what is going with the elephants in Central Africa. I thought it was interesting when he stated, " All of Central Africa is a hand grenade, its pin pulled by history of resource exploitation from abroad, dictatorships, and poverty" (13). This was a very interesting analogy to me because it expressed the way he feels/sees Central Africa during this time.

-Brandy Collier

Anonymous said...

This reading was incredibly heartbreaking to me as I love animals and nature, and the amount of harm humans are doing to them is just horrible. In this reading, one point concerning the plight of African elephants that caught my attention the most was about the death toll of the elephants: "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants, estimated now to be no more than about 1,500. (12)" This poaching has made an incredibly negative impact on nature, especially with the possibility of the elephants going extinct.

-Kyla Tinsley

Jaleelah Muhammad said...

A point that stood out to me was the fact that Kony's combatants would feed the civilians they kidnapped elephant meat but would take the ivory away (pages 6-7). Reading this story made me think how crazy the desire for ivory is and what people go through to obtain it. I was relieved to read that the number of combatants and victims went down, but it's still unfortunate that this is happening at all.

Breanna B. said...

"He'd grown up not far from Garamba at a time when it was possible to fly over the park and see 5,000 elephants in a single gathering. Now it was rare to see 250 in a herd" (page 12). The impact this statement had on me was substantial. I couldn't imagine growing up and seeing thousands of elephants together at once. To grow old and loose such a sight because of others merciless pursuit of the ivory tusk, is absolutely despicable. This bring a clssic example of man destroying the world around him for personal advancement.

Deborrah B. said...

One of the parts that stood out to me was the struggle to stop one of the well known poachers in Uganda and Garamba, which was Kony. Uganda tried to make a peace treaty with him to stop killing elephants but he refused. Then later in 2008, Uganda, along with the DRC, south Sudan, and the U.S., led an airstrike to get rid of him but ended up failing. After this Kony and his men killed over 800 people and kidnapped over 160 children. It's so unbelievable to me that people would gladly cause such chaos just to make money, going so far as to kill people. (pages 8-9)

Deborrah B.

Jasmin Smoot said...

On page 15 towards the bottom of the page, the author mentions how the Sudanese and Chadian poachers killed approximately 90 elephants that included 33 pregnant elephants and calves. It just makes me want to ask, "How could one living being do that to another?"

Elephants happen to be one of my favorite animals and to hear that they are being slaughtered to benefit the selfish interest of a group of individuals just drives me insane. What makes it even worse is the fact that they are willing to terminate whoever to get their hands on elephant tusks. It's inhumane.

-Jasmin Smoot

Aja J said...


One point concerning the plight of African elephants that caught my attention was the fact that both humans and animals were being harmed just to get ivory for financial and military gain. The article stated that “in three weeks Kony’s brutes killed more than 800 people and kidnapped more than 160 children. The UN estimated that the massacre displaced more than 100,000 Congolese and Sudanese,” (9). It’s just horrible what some people would just for financial gain or respect.

Naomi Olsson said...

The treatment and killing of animals for their parts is a very controversial topic in today's world. This type of "activity" has been around in human life for many centuries and although there are many that fight poaching of animals, it is still widely practiced. Whether it was buffalo's when american settlers first came to the states or whale for their blubber, animals are killed to make money. This practice has resulted in extinctions of many different animals as well as changes to the biomes in which they live. This not only effects the animals population, but also the population of the other species that live in the same biome. Christy reports "In June the Tanzanian government announced that the country has lost 60 percent of its elephants in the past five years, down from 110,000 to fewer than 44,000.". This is very concerning. 5 years is not a very long time for a species to have such a dramatic decline. They are not able to reproduce and rebuild their population before they are slaughtered. This could result in the extinction of the animal, just for people to make money off their husks. Is this kind of bio spherical change worth making some extra money. the extinction of a species doesn't only hurt the species its self, but also all the other species around it and eventually the human race. People should be alarmed about this grave problem and be standing up to make a change.

Jazsmine Towner said...

The beginning of the reading concerned me the most because it showed that the elephants and the people that shared habitat with these elephants all needed help. In the article on page, 4 "Locals including poor villagers and unpaid park rangers, are killing elephants for cash a risk they're willing to take because even if they're caught the penalties are often negligible"(4). The excerpt stuck out to me the most because the entire situation is sort of a catch 22. If the villagers don't kill the elephants they won't have any way to feed their starving families, but killing elephants for profit is unethical and illegal. This saddens me because neither the people or the elephants have a chance at life.
-Jazsmine Towner

Jazsmine Towner said...

The beginning of the reading concerned me the most because it showed that the elephants and the people that shared habitat with these elephants all needed help. In the article on page, 4 "Locals including poor villagers and unpaid park rangers, are killing elephants for cash a risk they're willing to take because even if they're caught the penalties are often negligible". The excerpt stuck out to me the most because the entire situation is sort of a catch 22. If the villagers don't kill the elephants they won't have any way to feed their starving families, but killing elephants for profit is unethical and illegal. This saddens me because neither the people or the elephants have a chance at life.

Anonymous said...

A point that caught my attention was how fast the elephants are actually being hunted. I've always known that elephants were hunted for their ivory but the rate at which they are being hunted came as a surprise to me. Christy states that "[Tanzania] has lost 60 percent of its elephants in the past five years, down from 110,000 to fewer than 44,000"(4). This point highlights exactly how much of a negative impact human activity has on elephants.

-Marcus Underwood

Peyton D. said...

I knew that elephants were being poached but I had to idea the extent of which this was occurring. It is disgusting and disturbing that entire animals are being slaughtered for a small tooth-like structure attached to them (p3). Poaching is illegal but governments turn a blind eye and the crimes persist.
The part that stood out to me the most was a couple pages beyond the reading. The Zakouma national park has lost 90% of its elephants since 2002. There are rangers in the park to protect them but poachers have killed rangers and destroyed evidence of their crimes such as photos and other info. Packs of men will attack a park and get as many elephant tusks as possible in one trip. (P14-15) Even when people and laws are in place to protect these creatures, poaching has depleted elephants to nearly extinct.

Olivia Slater said...

My response will refer to the final paragraph of the reading:
". . . leaders in Europe,m the Middle East, and the United States strategize about how to stop the ever-expanding network of international terrorist organizations, somewhere in Africa a park ranger stands his post, holding an AK-47 and a handful of bullet" (19).

I chose this portion of the reading because it was the part that outraged me the most. Yes, the rest of the passage was horrific; the mistreatment of animals is a large problem on a global scale. However, the biased political nature of this paragraph suggests that the author is solely motivated to promote their animal rights agenda. This is not to say that this is a bad cause; rather, it suggests that many other factors of the overall process are being ignored in order to depict the elephant tusk trading in the worst possible light. This de-ligitimizes the overall passage and makes me leery of the rest of the book.

Nyla Gantt said...

I was shocked and heartbroken as I read about the cruel treatment of these animals. On page 12, Christy said "The recent death toll... Poachers killed at least 132 last year... 42 carcasses with bullet holes... a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants..." This excerpt from the article alone made me more curious about the treatment of different animals, and makes me want to research ways that this can be stopped. At this rate, there won't be any more elephants to show for soon.

- Nyla Gantt

gabby said...

This reading although very interesting, was extremely heart-breaking and difficult to read. It is hard to think about the murdering and slaughtering of such graceful animals. One point concerning the plight of African elephants within this reading was on page twelve it read, "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants, estimated now to be no more than about 1,500." I found myself cringing as I fully began to realize the atrocity of the situation. This feat has made an awful impact upon the environment in which these animals live.

Trevon Bosley said...

I was shocked to read on page 4 about the "30,000 African elephants slaughtered every year," and that ," more than 100,000 slaughtered between 2009 and 2012." The killing of an innocent creature like an elephant for solely monetary reasons is not only selfish but immoral. I hope the reading pushes many to fight against the mass killing of elephants.

Anonymous said...

This passage was very interesting and eye opening. With the current political climate, it's difficult to keep up with events in the world that don't directly effect you, so this passage was a reminder that there are still problems that need addressing. The section on Joseph Kony was very familiar to me because I remember learning about Joseph Kony and his crimes during the Kony 2012 campaign. It was interesting, but not surprising, that Kony was somehow connected to the poaching of animals in the region. Overall, this passage was a reminder that we have much more to do to fix our broken world.

-Xavier Jefferson

Bman L said...

Kony's lack of sympathy for the elephants really got to me. He said that he had no desire for peace talks, because he needed ivory for ammunition (page 9). This is a fine example of someone who has been corrupted with power. Someone who thinks they are doing what's best for the country, but is ruining the people and elephants' lives in the process. We should try the best we can to negotiate with Sudan in giving Kony up. It disgusts me because these poor animals are becoming extinct, and village people have to suffer due to the war for ivory.

-Brandon Nichols

Tiera Williams said...

The reading was very interesting. I am very passionate about animals and it hurt my heart to hear how they were treated. The thing that caught my attention most was the deterioration of how many elephants used to be seen versus now. Christy comments on this on page 12. This was important to me because it demonstrated the drastic effects that are occurring in Garamba.

Tiera W.

Sydney Oats said...

People often do things that may go against there morals,but may help them survive. I am sure the poachers who kill the elephants for survival do not want to do it. However, they realize they need to to keep their family alive. It doesn't mean that the one's who do it for fun should feel the need too. "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants, estimated now to be no more than about 1,500. (12)" That part was sad to read because as humans we should know better that we are sharing this Earth with other animals.

Brianna Reed said...

This reading was very shocking to me. I don't understand how people can be so inhumane. I was appalled not only for the disregard of the elephant's lives, but also of the lives of the people trying to protect them. I don't understand how this could continue to go on especially because the poachers would kill anything or anyone standing in their way as mentioned on page 15. I also was intrigues by the fact that it was said that poaching is a governance issue, why aren't these people trying to stop the poaching being better protected. How can the Ugandan military be participating in this behavior when it is supposed to be their responsibility to protect and serve (Christy, 12).

Aleeya Barrolle said...

After reading the "Tracking Ivory" article by Bryan Christy I became overwhelmed for the elephants and what they go through. A point that was made that caught my attention was about how many elephants have been killed in just a short amount of time. In the article, Christy said, "In June the Tanzanian government announced that the country has lost 60 percent of its elephants in the past five years, down from 110,000 to fewer than 44,000" (4).

Kathryn Hatches said...

This was an article that was required to read for this scholarship and blog post last year. The article talks about the repercussions of hunting and poaching on our planet's ecosystem. Clearly, that is awful and has a negative impact on the world around us. Elephants are known to be beautiful and emotional creatures, so I hope they do not go extinct.

-Kathryn Hatches

Peyton D. said...

I knew that elephants were being poached but I had to idea the extent of which this was occurring. It is disgusting and disturbing that entire animals are being slaughtered for a small tooth-like structure attached to them (p3). Poaching is illegal but governments turn a blind eye and the crimes persist.
The part that stood out to me the most was a couple pages beyond the reading. The Zakouma national park has lost 90% of its elephants since 2002. There are rangers in the park to protect them but poachers have killed rangers and destroyed evidence of their crimes such as photos and other info. Packs of men will attack a park and get as many elephant tusks as possible in one trip. (P14-15) Even when people and laws are in place to protect these creatures, poaching has depleted elephants to nearly extinct.

Nia Piggott said...

Reading "Tracking Ivory" informed me on the huge issue of the elephant populations in these countries. It saddens me that people continue to hunt these animals although it is very obvious that they are endangered. A point in the passage that furthered this was on page 12/13 " He'd grown up not far from Garamba at a time when it was possible to fly over the park and see 5,000 elephants in a single gathering. Now it was rare to see 250 in a herd." Overall it was a very interesting reading especially seeing the harsh treatment people received for trying to help. I hope that soon more support is given to those trying to prevent the extinction of elephants.

Kytela Medearis said...

The quote that has stuck with me the last few days is from page 12. Christy wrote, "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants, estimated now to be no more than about 1,500. (12)" The idea of elephants becoming extinct is absolutely wretched to me. It is one of those things that you wonder just how desperate someone is to get money that they find it neccessary to kill a multi-ton animal for one small part of their body. It absolutely hurts my heart that people feel they have no other option or that it has become such a big money business. I could not imagine what it would be like to come across a sight like that. I also wonder how the possible extinction would affect other animals species in Africa.

-Kytela Medearis

YaQkeha Witherspoon said...

One of the many things in the reading that was unbelievable to me was on page 4. "Most illegal ivory goes to China, where a pair of ivory chopsticks can bring more than a thousand dollars..." (page 4). It was really amazing to me that people were paying over a thousand dollars for some chopsticks. And more importantly, letting and supporting a living, breathing animal to be killed just for some chopsticks! What's wrong with regular old chopsticks? I think this really demonstrates how people are not concerned with the damage they are causing to the Earth at all. Elephants can go extinct because people are killing them for chopsticks, that is really ridiculous.
-Yaqkeha W

Andre Valentine said...

For starters to kill such a magnificent creature is appalling. The motives behind the killings is just as horrific. I found it very disturbing when the kidnapped girls said they had to eat the meat of the poached elephants on page 7. My mind just can not comprehend how people can do such evils to such beautiful things for a war that can't even be won. I am hopeful that this can be stopped or slowed with the efforts of the many park rangers risking their lives and the help of people like Bryan Christy. - Andre V

Donovan Washington said...

This essay showed me how severe elephant poaching is in Africa. The author illustrates the severity of this by stating, “Zakouma National Park has lost nearly 90 percent of its elephants since 2002. Most - up to 3,000 - were poached from 2005 to 2008” (14). This quote is important because it really put the level of harshness into perspective for me. Until now, I haven’t been aware of how cruel some people were willing to act in order for financial and military advancement.

- Donovan Washington

Carlie Bibbs said...

After reading this chapter, it is just so sad how unimportant lives seem to be to others. Poachers constantly take the lives of elephants for horrible reasons and in return, rangers attempt to take the lives of poachers and vice versa. It seems that not enough people have respect or value for the lives of others. It makes me sad this situation even has to happen and it's even sadder than elephants are dying at far faster rates than they can even reproduce. I wonder if poachers ever stop and realize that elephants could soon become extinct. What will they do then once all of the elephants are gone? I hope they would realize the negative affects of their behavior but it is also possible that they may begin to find other animals to hunt.

- Carlie Bibbs

Bianca W. said...

One point that was made was that it was very rare to see a herd of just 250 elephants in a single gathering(pg 13). Elephants shouldn't be killed because just like all the other animals of wildlife they play a part in their ecosystem.
Another thing I found interesting was about all the humans killing each throughout the reading. The war between poachers and rangers and also reading about the raping and murders of women and children was heartbreaking. Why are humans so willing to kill each other over something that doesn't even belong to them.

Kaelyn Blunt said...

Reading this was incredibly sad for me. It was actually one of the hardest things for me to read. When it said"Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes", I had to re-read it because I thought that I had read it wrong. It is staggering to me, because we always hear it in passing or in a class that animals are being killed, but to see numbers, and names of the animals, its just disheartening. This needs to be spread more so we can do something about it.

Kaelyn B.

Kaelyn Blunt said...

Reading this was incredibly sad for me. It was actually one of the hardest things for me to read. When it said"Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes", I had to re-read it because I thought that I had read it wrong. It is staggering to me, because we always hear it in passing or in a class that animals are being killed, but to see numbers, and names of the animals, its just disheartening. This needs to be spread more so we can do something about it.

Kaelyn B.

Sierra Taylor said...

The last paragraph of the chapter really stood out to me. It states,"Meanwhile, as leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States strategize about how to stop the ever-expanding network of international terrorist organizations, somewhere in Africa a park ranger stands his post, holding an AK-47 and a handful of bullets, manning the frontline for all of us." Terrorism manifests in different ways, and elephant poaching is just one of many.

Paris Smith said...

The thing that I found most disturbing was when they said that most of the illegal ivory goes to China to make chopsticks that are sold for over a thousand dollars and my immediate thought was who would pay over a thousand dollars for some chopsticks? That is about 4 of my car payments and you would not eat with those chopsticks and because it is illegal, you could not even sit them on your mantle as a conversation piece. I think it is just disgusting to kill these beautiful animals for only a part of them. They are kind of like serial killers who kill people and leave with a trophy. Only instead of humans, you are killing harmless elephants and take a prize back with you.

Anonymous said...

I found it disturbing that the Ugandan army only looked at elephants as ammunition. They were out hunting and killing elephants, just for their tusks. Ammunition can be acquired in many different ways but they would rather kill animals minding their own business. One of the soldiers was able to prevent the killing of the elephants until he was detained.

Sydney J.

A. Robinson said...

I found the whole article very sad but page 12 was especially disappointing because it said, "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes". I just don't understand ow they could kill so many animals and feel no remorse about it. I am very passionate about animals and I do not think we have the right to kill them in their own habitat.
-Alexis Robinson

Cheniya A. said...

One part of this passage that really caught my attention was when Jean Fremont, a director of the park, voiced his opinion that the Ugandan military, "is conducting operations in Garamba and at the same time taking some ivory," as an afterthought to seeing bullet holes in the heads of some 48 elephants (12). This opinion, based off the realization that SPLA uses the same helicopters, sickens me. Especially because the idea was rejected by one of Uganda's military advisors. To me, this only serves the propel the previous proposition.

Cheniya A.

jasmine williams said...

Page 12 makes reference to “bullet holes in the tops of skulls and the removal of tusks by can only be chainsaws”. This really caught my attention because the elephants were killed in such a horrific way. Their bodies were mutalated for the financial gain of the poachers. These elephants have roamed African for hundreds of year, and I think that the poachers show disrespect to the elephants by invading their natural habitat and causing their population to rapidly decline.

Jasmine Williams

Victoria Wright said...

While reading "Tracking Ivory," I realized the severity of elephant poaching and how despicable people must be in order to perform such an act against something thriving with life. On page 14, Christy discusses Zakouma National Park, which is home to Africa's largest remaining elephant herd. The fact that this park has lost "...over 90 percent of its elephants since 2002.." is absolutely horrifying--these poachers are so fixated on obtaining elephants and their lives that they would put themselves in danger for it (Christy 14).

Victoria W.

Maya Searcy said...

On page 12 where Christy says you used to be able to fly over and see 5,000 elephants but now you can rarely see 250. This stuck out to me because its not that long ago that he was able to see so many elephants and just over one lifetime that number has fallen so drastically. I really like animals and the fact that people are killing them at such an alarming rate is horrible.

Jazmyn Maggitt said...

The passage on page 12 that says, “rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 atttibuted to a single Sundanese poaching expedition”. Personally elephants are my favorite animal so hearing that these creatures are being hunted down and killed for the ivory is heartbreaking. This part of the passage astounds me even more that in one expedition they killed 30 of them. Especially when in year they say about 132 were killed and roughly a 1/3 of them can be killed all at once. They are beautiful animals who often leave us alone so I don’t understand why we can’t do the same.
Jazmyn Maggitt

Fiona Hill said...

"Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants." The blatant lack of concern or empathy for other animals caught my attention the most. Additionally, I found it alarming that although this practice is illegal, the government does nothing to stop it and does nothing to try to find the ones who are doing this. Furthermore, the fact that people choose to kill thousands of elephants instead of tranquilizing them and cutting them off so the elephants can regrow them is ridiculous to me.

John Kriha said...

The point concerning the plight of African elephants that caught my attention can be found on page 6. The quote "For 10 years Khartoum supplied him with food, medicine, and arms..." stood out to me because it reflects the government's role in handling the poaching epidemic. Africa's government did not do enough stop the poaching and often times the rangers an authorities participated in obtaining the ivory for their own profit.

Xavier Morrison-Wallace said...

One point concerning the plight of African elephants that I paid attention to the most was that the unfortunate situation of the African elephants was leading us to the more important situation of Kidnappings and other evil operations done by the poachers and the sinister organizations and not just the trading of Ivory. On page 7 it is stated by Dante that he is not "an animal lover, I'm a problem solver". In my perspective, this gives motivation that this tracking mission isn't necessarily for the elephants, but for the real problem. While it is tragic for the elephants that poaching is causing their population to go down significantly,the various illegal activity seems to be the main focus of this tracking mission.
--Xavier Morrison-Wallace

Shardai J-Hampton said...

One point that was particularly alarming to me was the description of the dead elephants. On page 12, rangers saw there were another 42 carcasses with bullet holes. The fact that these beautiful creatures are being hunted at all is shocking, given they aren't endangering anything. I feel that if the ivory trade is such a big deal, other means of obtaining ivory should be used to prevent the mass slaughtering of these animals.

Anonymous said...

I found it most concerning that countries are losing a large percentage of their elephant population. Page 4 stated that the Tanzanian government announced that the country has lost 60 percent of its elephants in the past five years, down from 110,000 to 44,000. This is important to me because at that rate, the entire population could be eradicated in a few years if the pregnant and baby elephants are also being killed. Jeremiah T.

Anonymous said...

What really bothered me, was reading how senseless and barbaric people could be towards such docile creatures. Elephants are being slain frequently and abundantly for the mere exotic value of their ivory. On page 12, Christy says “And someone is believed to be killing elephants from helicopters, as evidenced by bullet holes in the tops of skulls,” (12). The fact that people would go to such eccentric lengths to do such heartless things is pitiful, and it’s a shame that they can’t just appreciate the beauty of this species.

-Mike Dade

Anonymous said...

One thing that stood out to me, and caught my attention in "Tracking Ivory," was the fact that the military and government was taking part in poaching African elephants in Sudan. "According to Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Francophone Africa director..., who led a group into the park after the slaughter [of African elephants], the poachers were most likely from Darfur's Rizeigat tribal group, with ties to the Janjaweed - the violent, Sudanese-government-backed militias that have committed atrocities in Darfur" (15). The government in Sudan is not only allowing the poaching of African elephants, but have some partake in it as well.

Poaching in Sudan is so bad that nearly thousands of elephants are killed every year. It's a major problem in Sudan and many parts of Africa and something needs to be done to end the poaching of African elephants. If not, poaching in these areas will only continue to grow.

- Marcus B.

Anonymous said...

What caught my attention was the worth of ivory tusks. I always had an understanding that they must be expensive. This article states that people go as far to use them as a type of currency.

J Kolbe K.

Anonymous said...

What I found most disturbing was that elephants were being killed for their tusks. On page 12 it said that they used to be able to fly over the park and see 5,000 elephants in a single gathering. Now it was rare to see 250 in a herd. This is upsetting because elephants should be able to live freely rather than be killed for their tusks.

~Tashawna N.

Robert Craig Jr said...

Learning of the sheer number of African elephants being hunted for their tusks disturbed me. Christy writes, "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants." Such a disregard for these protected animals' lives is sickening, and more needs to be done to prevent poaching.

De'Abrion Joyner said...

There were two things that caught my interest when reading this. On page 4 they talk about how park rangers and people are being killed over these ivory tusks which is crazy tome to think that they can be that valuable to take lives over. And on page 12 they say that the bullet holes in the top of the skulls come from helicopters. If they come from helicopters that is also showing just how valuable these tusks have to be. People are taking helicopters to hunt for them.

Anonymous said...

I actually found two things interesting about this read. On page 4 they talk about how park rangers and people are being killed over access to these tusks. Which is pretty extreme to me, it shows just how valuable these tusks are in the real world to take a life over them. And also on page 12 they talk about how helicopters were used in killing the elephants based on the bullets in the skull. To know that people are getting in helicopters to hunt these down also shows the value of these tusks. People really want them.


- De'Abrion Joyner

cassidy oliver said...

The most interesting thing is the link between militia groups and men, Kony for example, and Ivory. The Ivory is used to supply and sustain acts of terrorism. Ivory was known as kony's savings account (Christy 9). Ivory on its own can be harmless, but in the possession of militia's can be a form of mass destruction. It shows how something that seems so unrelated can have a profound effect on lives.

Kellsey Hediger said...

The following statement can be found on page 12: "Poachers killed at least 132 last year, and as of this June, rangers had discovered another 42 carcasses with bullet holes, more than 30 attributed to a single Sudanese poaching expedition - a combined loss amounting to more than 10 percent of the park's entire population of elephants, estimated now to be no more than about 1,500. (12)" This is so, so disheartening. Taking the lives of these creatures as a means of obtaining money is selfish. Money may come and go, but once a life is taken it cannot be restored.