Act now against global trafficking

I am a 16-year-old student at North Buncombe High School. I am trying to raise awareness of global trafficking in exotic wildlife and the slaughtering of endangered animals such as the rhino and elephant for their tusks (and the tiger for its bones). These tusks are smuggled out of the country [of origin] to be sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Once ivory or the bones of a tiger are obtained by poachers, it is illegally smuggled to countries like Sudan and then shipped to Asia or traded for weapons. Not only is this illegal poaching damaging the ecosystems of the African savannah, but it is also funding genocidal militias that are growing stronger every day, which in turn leads to the death of more innocent civilians. The militias have the power to take control of the parks and completely deplete the last of the endangered populations—without being stopped.

Every year, approximately 23,000 elephants are slaughtered for their tusks. We should act now to preserve the lives of endangered species such as the elephant, rhino and tiger.

This topic may not seem important to our local society here in Asheville, but my theory is that without local support you cannot receive global support. Global support can solve issues and fix many of the problems our Earth faces today.

How can we help? By donating money to the International Fund for Animal Welfare; reporting findings of endangered species products; and refraining from any use of products that contain any trace of an endangered species. “When the buying stops the killing will too”(WildAid).

Please support this cause. Don’t let another elephant die from illegal poaching. Make a difference. Act now!

Here is what your donations can do:
• $15 could pay for milk for an orphaned baby elephant for a week.
• $25 could pay the running cost of a patrol vehicle for a week.
• $50 could pay the wages of a ranger for a month.
• $100 could help train a ranger to protect elephants from poachers.

— Hunter Isgrig
Weaverville

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