Elephants are superb calm animals overflowing with dignity. This is a personal view and unfortunately not shared universally. Elephants are a unique and fascinating breed that has evolved through time just as man has. But too few people appreciate elephants for these aspects, too many see them as a source of ivory or dog food. Year after year, some 50 to 150,000 of these great beasts are butchered for their tusks and thousands more are slaughtered for food or simply for the area they inhabit. The vast growth of our population is making us ever more dangerous and cruel neighbors. The fate of the elephant, pressured by the human population explosion and the ivory trade, looks bleak. Is there anything to be said in favor of the elephant? A great deal. I just hope others will soon recognize the beauty and intelligence of the elephant before today's problem becomes tomorrow's legend. ^
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.