If you were watching our broadcast, then you know the worst thing happened… Halfway through Animated Anna Facebook Live the Broadcast died. Straight up went dark for the viewers. Awkward! But in a world obsessed with self control and a constant desire for smooth sailing, a little uncertainty can be fun.

***To view the video, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/EyesOnConservation/?hc_ref=ARRK-JHcd4u1wY1yrkHoHYDrEZT5LKHVW-vZs854bczimnhrSYj723FOEkL4L9me4mw***

Animated Anna Talks Conservation with Eyes on Conservation plunged into an emotionally charged, current topic: Trophy Hunting. The goal of the discussion was to educate viewers on the real issue at hand and the much larger picture endangering elephants.   

To recap: while we’re not exactly in Trump’s cheering section, we could appreciate that he halted lifting the ban and offered a few words of disdain for hunting elephants in general (just a Tweet… really Trump). Lifting the ban would allow hunters traveling to Zimbabwe and Zambia to return with trophies, which are parts of the animal.

While national coverage sensationalized the story and had celebrities (love you, Ellen) and wildlife advocates alike grabbing pitchforks and torches, the reality is that the recent debate over the repeal of this ban on importing big game trophies just isn’t that big of a deal. The repeal only impacts two countries in Africa, and the only reason there was a ban on these imports in the first place is because these countries were not managing their trophy hunting and conservation projects to international standards. Additionally, despite the rhetoric in the news, the big game trophies in question do not include Ivory. Ivory is regulated separately, and this repeal has no impact on these existing regulations. While the idea of hunting elephants still makes me want to Hulk Smash, I can still appreciate the financial aid the traveling hunters provide and that, if managed properly, the money is allocated to Conservation groups. This allows them to hire the Park Rangers to protect animals from poachers, keep land free from farming, and monitor populations. It also shifts the local’s mindsets from seeing elephants as rumbling masses of destruction to being a financial gift.

Most importantly, we wanted to remind viewers that the real problem facing elephant populations is the illegal ivory trade. Poaching for ivory is still the number one threat to elephants and should be regarded with utmost disdain.

In closing, while the mere mention of ivory usually ends in a depressing discussion of unnecessary elephant deaths, there has been cause for joy on December 31, 2017. What better win than for China to bring its government-sanctioned ivory trade to an abrupt end?! If I could do a cartwheel of joy I would, but I’ll have to settle for a clumsy somersault.

China’s legal, carving factories will be forced to close up shop and the legal, domestic ivory market will be halted. This is China’s way of educating its citizens on the fact that these magnificent creatures are more than an ivory piece collecting dust on a shelf. In a domino effect, this will also make it harder for the illegal trade and purchasing of ivory to slip in masked as a legal activity. It still doesn’t end poaching, but it’s a leap in the right direction!

We hope you joined us on our next discussion topic, which was the, “Plastic Free Challenge,” and that you found some creative ways to reduce your, daily plastic usage. 

Whether it thrills or chills you, we have the power to protect our fellow, animal inhabitants.

Animated Anna

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