Veterinary teams have been experimenting with removing rhino horns from live, tranquilized rhinos. The poachers then have no large financial incentive to kill the rhino. Why can’t the same be done for elephants?
Unlike a rhino horn, an elephant tusk is similar to a human tooth. The Amboseli Trust for Elephants explains:
“It would be painful. There is a nerve that runs well down the length of an elephant’s tusk. Cutting the tusk off would be painful, similar to you breaking a tooth. Remember that an elephant tusk is a modified incisor. Cutting beyond the nerve would still leave a third of the tusk in place.”
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants does amazing research. You can support them through regular donations, but there’s a more fun option called the Elatia Project. For $30 a year, you receive an elephant family: you will get a video, a family tree, and bimonthly stories (including family dramas – apparently humans aren’t the only ones who face sibling rivalries and parent-child arguments).
Photo: taken at Elephant Nature Park