Ivory, a Crime Story

Brilliant documentary, in fact the best i have seen on the ivory trade involving killing elephants for their tusks. It covers a wide range of topics concerning the elephant human conflict in Africa. Apparently every 15 minute one elephant is being killed for its ivory. The reasons are many – from poverty amongst the Africans forcing them to kill the elephant not only for the ivory but also for its meat. Every elephant delivers about 500 kgs of meat which is a source of food for the villagers nearby. Then there is corruption in Africa where the poachers bribe the judges, magistrates, police officers etc. into releasing them. But the biggest factor contributing to the demise of the elephant population worldwide is the China factor. China looms large over this documentary from their deep involvement in building infrastructure in Africa, their large number of Chinese expats working in Africa, to the large demand for ivory products in China and inability of the Chinese to ban the ivory trade. Apparently every day two Chinese persons are arrested for the illegal trade in ivory. Philippines with its religious affection towards ivory figurines of Jesus Christ and Thailand with its Buddhist fondness for ivory products is also mentioned as are the countries in the south east asian best viz. Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam are all major perpetrators of the ivory trade. Vatican refusal to endorse ban on ivory trade and to sign an agreement with CITES also comes in the way of the elephant security. Thankfully some technological innovations are coming to the rescue of the elephants in Africa. Superb documentary.

I watched it here

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