I have come to realisation that unless the converted and the congregation can manage to be at the same level of understanding or close on the subject matter at hand, it is very difficult to enforce any new rules.
My father is a hunter. He is the type we call squirrel hunter, because of my father’s hunting skill, I knew a bit about our local wild animals from squirrel to the poor pangolin that was caught in a trap and still rolled up until my father gets to the village, our co-tenant older than me was as excited to see a life pangolin as much as I was – now pangolins too unsurprisingly are critically endangered.
The first time I saw a life elephant was outside of Nigeria, I am not alone. Actually, my over 70-year-old parents have never set their eyes on life elephants apart from the ones on TV and in books. Although Yoruba would say Ode Aperin – Elephant Hunters to include in narratives of hunters of the past years and their powerful hunting skills that suggests there used to be a time that elephants were not as rear to find as it is today.
It is fascinating learning about our wild animals and because I am aware of how much we eat just about anything with fur/scales, I know too well that hunting for certain endangered animals will continue unless the locals are actively involved. One way of achieving this is through education and presenting facts of the past compared to reality of today to the citizens.
You can imagine my excitement when I came across The Omo-Shasha-Oluwa Forest Elephant Initiative, seems message is trickling down somehow but more need to be done. Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi is another place to spot African elephant in Nigeria only that it is not for shallow-pocketed individuals.
There is a lot of explanation why Africans poach for ivory, common reason is poverty, how can we get locals involved to maximise the efforts being put into preserving elephant future on the continent? For most of these farmers, lets face it, this is their God-given source of income and would only stop if the risks involved outweigh the benefits.
Having said that on the continent now is more pressing issue of terrorism. Even the poor would give up the last piece of their bread if they were shown how ivory trade has contributed to financing unrest in the region.
I think this video would do a lot to support the drive to discourage locals from continued hunting for ivory, the message is too important to disregard, now than any other time. Many thanks to the team at lastdaysofivory.com for creating this video.
This article is a good read detailing reality of ivory trading around the world.