This is important as both species of Elephant (African and Asian) populations are being decimated once again. The population of the African Elephant was estimated to be around 10 Million in 1900 and 100,000 in 1900 for the Asian Elephant.
In 2007, the figures were estimated at 470, 000* IUCN status ‘Vulnerable’ for African Elephants and between 40,000 – 50,000* IUCN status ‘Endangered’ for Asian Elephants and the numbers are rapidly declining, with rampant poaching throughout Africa and the shocking discovery that at least 400 elephants have been killed in Boubou Ndjida National Park in Cameroon alone in February 2012, is a horrific statistic in itself.
The demand for Ivory is high and if Television programmes such as Bargain Hunt, Antiques Roadshow, Cash in the Attic etc continue to endorse the buying, selling and pricing of Ivory products, even if these products have ‘allegedly’ genuine pre 1947 proof of documentation it increases the demand for ivory as people see that the price is high for such products, mainly due to the Far East market demand for all Ivory products which is why these magnificent, intelligent and caring animals are being brutally slaughtered and calves orphaned and left to die once again. With an estimated 36,000 Elephants killed in 2011 alone. Yes, you read that correctly 36,000 of these magnificent animals KILLED in 1 year alone and then there are the orphaned calves.
As was the case in 1997 When CITES approved the sale of 40 tonnes of ivory from Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to Japan, thinking that would curb the poaching but in the next two years an estimated 6,000 Elephants were brutally poached.
The BBC is renowned quite rightly the world over for it’s Wildlife Documentary programmes mostly featuring Sir David Attenborough as well as the recent Panorama programme highlighting the Ivory Wars and I think it is a shame to taint this legacy by ‘endorsing’ Ivory products on it’s Antiques programmes. It not only show’s a lack of compassion but with Elephant poaching so high I believe it is quite irresponsible of the BBC to ‘endorse’ Ivory products the way that the above mentioned programmes do at the moment.