Content Warning: animal cruelty, graphic descriptions
It was a scene that would haunt anyone who cares about elephants.
More than two dozen mangled and rotting Asian elephant corpses lay rotting in a riverbed in the Ayeyawady (Irrawaddy) delta in southwestern Myanmar.
The skin of these highly intelligent and emotionally sensitive animals had been flayed from their bones, apparently to sell in Asian markets as gruesome elephant skin jewelry and "medicines" that claim to cure whatever ails you.
Only around 40,000-50,000 Asian elephants remained in the world in 2003, and scientists believe the population has been declining since. Like their African cousins, Asian elephants are being driven to extinction by poaching and habitat loss.
Fortunately, we can stop poaching of these irreplaceable creatures. Our friends at World Wildlife Fund have already funded two anti-poaching squads in Myramar and are hoping more will be funded. The program has already led to the arrest of 13 poachers.
More anti-poaching squads on the ground will mean fewer dead elephants. That's why we are calling on the United Nations Environmental Programme to establish its own fund to support anti-poaching squads to protect the planet's last, remaining Asian elephants from being dismembered for the sake of grisly jewelry and sham remedies.
A little funding from the UN Environmental Programme could go a long way toward saving Asian elephants. Please add your name now to help demonstrate the global support we'll need to convince the organization to help.