CITES is considering a proposal to reclassify all African elephants to the category Appendix I, which only allows trade in “exceptional circumstances” for species “threatened with extinction.” The elephant is already classified as Appendix I, the highest level of protection, in all member states except Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
We will have no words to explain to children of the future that adults dismembered their world, that the elephant was lost, and with it, wonder for all time. Children, and humanity will have nothing to look forward to. Civilization will stand or fall on the back of the African elephant. The elephant persecution is civilization’s Golgotha.
If we learn the lesson this time around, the children of the next generation will thank us and be able to cherish what is left of “heaven’s poetry to us,” the life force of this big blue marble in space.
Canned hunting incites trophy hunters, which in turn attracts poachers. Within a few days of Cecil’s killing, five poachers went into Tsavo in Kenya and killed five elephants—news which hardly reverberated in the world’s conscience for what humanity is also doing to the largest land mammal on earth.
They roam the hinterlands of the Namib desert, the world’s oldest, like relics from a fabled country that time forgot. They are the last silent juggernauts on earth and they roam the arid Ana and Mopane forests of this country of 2 million like enormous ghosts.
The reality behind the murder and wanton destruction of a beautiful being called Cecil should activate a new and final wave of response, not just for the animals of the world, but also for our children.
In this solitary outpost of Namibia, a fable still haunts the living sands of a seemingly inexhaustible stretch of time, far from the madding crowd. But outside pressures are gaining on this imponderably perfect beast.