Hanging at CHG-CIRCA Gallery in Culver City, CA, Remember the Elephants is Caia’s latest work (12″ x 12″ acrylic on wood panel) which continues with her environmentally inspired themes for her paintings. Coming on the heels of her painting May Mantas Thrive to help bring awareness to the plight of the giant manta ray, this painting addresses the enormous issue of the rapidly dwindling wild elephant population which are being hunted to extinction; mainly for their beautiful tusks.
Sadly, in spite of efforts of many government agencies as well as wildlife conservation groups to bring awareness to illegal poaching, National Geographic reports that a recent study, considered to provide the most accurate continent-wide numbers, reveals that in the last 3 years alone 100,000 elephants have been killed. As if that weren’t appalling enough, it is estimated that in 2011, one in every 12 elephants in Africa was killed. It is widely accepted that the vast majority of these often brutal killings are merely for the animal’s tusks.
High demand for ivory in China is a heavy driver for this, but the United States is equally problematic. Strong rhetoric from the US Government seems to belie an obvious regulation problem wherein purposely mislabeled contraband regularly finds it way into US markets. Its merely a ploy which allows shopkeepers in large metropolises like New York, San Francisco and even Washington DC to brazenly display huge tusks and to continue in this detestable commerce.
Celebrities like Jon Stewart, who are bringing the topic back into the national conversation, report that terrorist groups like Boko Haram use the illegal ivory trade to fund themselves; while groups like the NRA continually attempts to block legislation aimed at banning ivory imports and sales.
We all should get involved if we want these gentle giants to roam freely and safely for generations to come. Write your Congress person, educate your friends and family and join one of many conservation groups making efforts to save elephants and all wildlife.