Target: Ousmane Koné, Minister of Environment in Mali
Goal: Crack down on poaching of endangered elephants.
Due to careless and oftentimes malicious human activity, very few desert elephant herds remain in the world today. It has been reported that one of these herds will soon be extinct, unless the Mali government does something to save them.
Elephants in the Western African nation are under siege by poachers, who murder the animals, rip their tusks from their faces and sell them on the black market, where ivory is a sought-after commodity. As a result, there are only approximately 300 of these magnificent creatures left in Mali, and that number is going to continue to decline.
According to Susan Canney of the Mali Elephant Project, “Mali is standing by while the elephants are being slaughtered…. If we continue at this rate, they will all be gone in three years.” Furthermore, there are “50 rangers waiting to be deployed, but they are held up waiting for official approval and firearms from the government.”
Tens of thousands of elephants used to roam freely in the deserts of Africa. That was before sordid, predatory human activity devastated their habitat and population. Political turmoil in the north of Mali has served to exacerbate the problem, expanding the illicit ivory trade. For a sense of how terrible things have become, consider that over 80 Malian elephants were slaughtered by poachers in 2015, and that 16 were killed in January of this year alone.
The time to act is now. Please add your voice to the cause by signing the petition below, urging Mali’s Minister of Environment to shut down the ivory trade in his country. The fate of the elephants absolutely depends on it.
I was heartbroken to learn of the rapidly declining elephant population in your country. According to official estimates, roughly 300 desert elephants remain in Mali—an alarmingly low number. Last year, 80 of them were slaughtered for their ivory. In January of this year, 16 more were killed. At the current rate, these beautiful animals will be extinct within three years. Please do not allow this to happen. Please take action.
Greater efforts must be made in order to stymie the devastating effects of poaching. These people are vicious criminals, and they need to be brought to justice before it is too late. There is no more time to waste. I urge you to do everything in your power to save the desert elephants from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Christine Sponchia