It makes sense…
Which is why it’ll never be tried.
I sip my Tusker beer on the veranda, staring at the elephant. He’s not the elephant in the room. He’s the elephant on what should be my croquet lawn. I thought he might go away, but he hasn’t. Instead he’s brought his friends — more and more of them as time goes by. They say the elephant will become extinct within a few years. Across Africa, poachers are decimating elephants — just not here, where they apparently feel safe enough to crap on my sward.
Today, the fashionable argument promoted on Twitter, and followed by princes and prime ministers, is to burn all stockpiles of seized ivory in the world. This, they argue, will help shut down the illegal trade in ivory. Poachers, some believe, must be fought with special forces-trained rangers with night-vision goggles and helicopter back-up.
Currently, they say around 30,000 elephant are being poached annually. This is mainly for their ivory, from which the African bandits who pull the trigger make but a few coins. Instead, the lion’s share of profits is gobbled up by criminal gangs smuggling tusks to the Far East, where hordes of Chinese consumers want the ivory carved into miniature statues of their grandmothers.
Others argue that the best way of saving elephant and other wildlife is through commercial sport hunting. It’s hard to disagree with the numbers, given that wildlife populations have thrived mainly in those parts of southern Africa where big-game hunting is also a lucrative industry.
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