Conservation experts report that within 10 years, there may be no more elephants left in Kenya. The overwhelming reason is poaching motivated by the illicit China ivory market. Chinese culture has prized ivory carving for centuries and has developed a huge industry of artisans and markets. Elaborate carved ivory gifts are a favorite of Asian business and government leaders. The well-documented Chinese business invasion of Africa has provided cover for the accelerated poaching and export of illicit ivory, hence the dire predictions.
Meanwhile, recent decades of animal behavior research is placing the elephant among the most intelligent and sentient non-humans. They exhibit complex social behaviors including cooperation, altruism and grief. There is a popular belief the elephants are the only non-human animals that shed tears, however that has not been documented well. But who could blame them if they did? (Pricing Schedule G)