The Ivory Game

This past week has been difficult for me, in more ways than one, but I also had the opportunity to become more educated about elephant poaching through an absolutely fantastic documentary. The Ivory Game is a Netflix Original about the horrors of Elephant poaching in Africa and the Ivory Blackmarket in China.

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Map showing Elephant population trends across several countries in Africa.

Prior to watching this documentary, I was aware that elephant poaching was happening but I did not know how serious and severely it impacted the population of African elephants. It is no exaggeration to say that they are on the precipice of extinction. African Elephant populations suffered a 30% decline from 2007 to 2017, and the population continues to drop by another 8% every year (Great Elephant Census).

African Elephants are hunted and poached for their ivory, which is considered an extremely valuable material in China. Currently, China does have regulations to control the amount of ivory that is legally purchased and used by craftsmen in China, but the documentary shows how legal ivory traders in China cheat the books and sneak in illegal ivory imported from Africa. Ivory laws in China are poorly enforced and most people turn their heads in the other direction to avoid backlash from some of these illegal traders, since it can be very dangerous to speak up.

The truth of the matter is that we have a very small window of time to make a difference and we have a lot to make up for. I’ve posted the trailer below and I would highly, highly recommend watching it. The illegal ivory trade is decimating the African Elephant population and the striking reality is that soon there won’t be anymore African Elephants left at all.

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored in any way by Netflix or the makers of The Ivory Game.

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