Poachers Hunting Elephants In Myanmar For Their Skin

Falling Herbivore Numbers Could Result In Empty Landscape

The World Wildlife Fund says excessive demand for elephant skins means the survival of the species in Myanmar is at risk. Poachers in the South-East Asian country have migrated towards slaughtering the animals for their skins as the crack down on the ivory trade from wildlife conservationists has resulted in it becoming less profitable. There are approximately between 1,400 to 2,000 wild elephants in Myanmar according to Coconuts Yangon.

The number of elephants poached has doubled

Over the last few months the number of elephants that have been killed has doubled. Male, female and baby elephants are all being targeted for their skin which buyers believe will bring them good luck if they wear the skin as if it is jewellery according to the report. In contrast, the ivory trade focuses exclusively on male elephants.

The rise in poaching is alarming

Nilanga Jayasinghe, the World Wild Life Fund’s senior program officer for elephants, says that Asian elephants already face immense pressure across their range. Adding insult to injury is the new trend emerging in Myanmar of herds being indiscriminately poached for their skin which is very troubling.

Surge in demand for elephant skin

Christy Williams, World Wild Life Fund’s Myanmar country director says there has been a rapid surge in the skin trade fad which is largely being driven by rising demand in Asia combined with lax law enforcement. This is also compounded by the fact that borderless illegal syndicates operate across South-East Asia. There are also not enough resources to train up local authorities to offer elephants protection from poachers, which is a major reason for the outbreak of poaching in Myanmar.

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