Only days after this year's festival of Ganesh Chaturthi (which celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati), Hindu religious leaders have banded together with Christian and Muslim ones "against those slaughtering thousands of elephants and rhinos across Africa each year."
This past Thursday evening, these leaders "grasped hands and prayed" while "standing before a pile of charred elephant ivory" in
Kenya's Nairobi National Park. NBC News reports that "Asia's high-dollar demand for ivory tusks and rhino horn powder" is luring
poachers who can earn more that way than "after years of labor in the typical village job." Therefore, "the number of rhinos killed by
poachers in South Africa has risen from 13 in 2007 to 448 last year," and "tens of thousands of elephants are being killed by poachers each year."
Ironically, it is the demand for ivory religious icons that is helping to fuel these massacres. The October 2012 issue of National Geographic features an article titled Blood Ivory (along with this caption: Thousands of elephants die each year so that their tusks can be carved into religious objects. Can the slaughter be
Wikipedia reports that Ganesha became an elephant-headed god because of a mother elephant who was seen crying for her dead baby. Elephants are widely known for such compassion. If only poachers could learn from their example before extinguishing it perhaps forever…
Copyright September 23, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved