Wild elephants will have disappeared from Africa within 25 years if more action is not taken to stop poaching now. Rhinos faces extinction “in our lifetimes”. This was the warning given by Prince William at an event organised by conservation charity Tusk in London. Many governments, experts and conservationists are now calling for a complete ban on the ivory trade. The African elephant population has fallen from about one million 40 years ago to under 350,000 today.
The Prince highlighted the moral dimension of the issue. “Materialistic greed cannot be allowed to win against our moral duty to protect threatened species and vulnerable communities.”
It is worth reflecting that whilst there are7 billlion (seven thousand million) human beings on earth; the number of large mammals now living wild in the world is probably less than 2 million; equal to what in global terms is a single small city.
Today’s photograph is an image of an elephant engraved into rock in South Africa more than 1,200 years ago. This example is found on stones scattered across a small hill at what is now the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, near Kimberley in Northern Cape. Other examples of engravings and paintings on rock by the Khoe-San are found in several locations in South Africa. This site is particularly characterised by images of the large mammals, elephant, rhino and hippo. It is thought that they were made as an expression of the spiritual life of the community.