National Geographic : 2013 Feb
6 national geographic • February 2013 LETTERS October 2012 Your article on the slaughter of elephants for ivory by turns upset me, angered me, and baffled me. Obviously the only course of action is to make the ivory unavailable or unworthy to the poachers. Is there something that can be fed to the animal that can change the color of the ivory from the inside—or can the tusks be deeply stained from the outside—to make it permanently unusable for the ivory trade without harming the animal? Steven F. Graver Columbus, Georgia Blood Ivory EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org TWITTER @NatGeoMag WRITE National Geographic Magazine, PO Box 98199, Washington, DC 20090-8199. Include name, address, and daytime telephone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. I hope that the ignoramus ivory collector in your story who said, “I don’t see the elephant. I see the Lord,” received a copy of the magazine. Maybe the photo- graphs will improve his vision. Brenda petruzzella Columbus, Ohio I find Kenya’s stockpiling of ivory yet burning of 5.5 tons of other countries’ illegal ivory to be a hypocritical waste. The ivory could have been sold to China— the Chinese are going to acquire it by some other means anyway— and the money used to help protect the remaining population of elephants by hiring more park rangers, putting up fences, etc. Destroying it only makes Kenya’s stockpile go up in value. ryan ayreS Modesto, California I cannot get over such a bloody and vicious photo on the cover. I am certain that there are ways to get the message across of the horrible crime perpetrated against animals for their ivory without dripping blood. dawn BrOwn Birmingham, alabama Your article was disturbing, from the politics and corruption to Buddhists and Catholics ignoring the precepts of their religions. The elaborate carvings the Chinese are buying are garish. Ivory looks much more beautiful on an elephant in the wild. diane KrauSe arlington, Massachusetts As a Catholic, I couldn’t help but wonder what St. Francis of Assisi would have to say about buying and selling such objects. He had much to say about the care of God’s creatures and the dangers of wealth. Sarah BuChwalder Bristol, Maine Corrections OCTOBer 2012, THe GLOrY OF LeAveS The plant on page 67 was misidentified as grapevine. It is actually Bryonia dioica, commonly called bryony. “My HEART is so HEAVY, I can barely stand the weight.” “My HEART is so HEAVY, I can barely stand the weight.” “ELEPHANTS are beautiful. Objects made from their TUSKS are hideous.” “It is all our SHAME TO BEAR.” “The MASSACRE of elephants for their IVORY is ungodly.” “I had a hard time reading for the TEARS IN MY EYES.” “Nothing can compare to the BARBARISM OF THE HUMAN BEING.” GrApHIC: MATTHew TwOMBLY, nGM STAFF FEEDBACK This graphic reflects readers’ thoughts about the October issue’s “Blood Ivory” story. watch Battle for the Elephants on pBS See author Bryan Christy in national Geographic’s Battle for the Elephants on February 27 at 9 p.m. Check local listings. Learn more at nationalgeographic.com/ elephantvoices.