In a sickening new trend, Myanmar's elephants are being brutally poached and their flesh hacked off of their bodies.
After the elephants are hunted down, their skin is stripped off in patches, and their mutilated bodies left in the jungle to rot.
The elephants’ skin is then turned into jewelry or a fad "medicine" that supposedly cures skin conditions. It may be sold at exorbitant prices in China -- or sometimes for just a few dollars per strip of flesh at local markets throughout Myanmar.
As the demand for elephant skin has grown, poaching has increased drastically in Myanmar. Studies show a 25 percent increase in elephant poaching between 2013 and 2015. In 2016, at least 50 elephants have been discovered skinned.
Over the past decade, Myanmar has lost up to half of its elephant population, leaving just an estimated 2000 to 3000 elephants in the wild. If the elephant skin fad continues, many more elephants could be killed this year.
Currently, the maximum fine for poaching elephants and other endangered animals in Myanmar is the equivalent of a mere $60. The law is also poorly enforced, so many poachers will never even face this slap on the wrist. With such lax laws, poachers have no reason to stop the killing.
The government of Myanmar must act to stop the brutality to elephants. Sign this petition to tell the Myanmar ambassador to the United States that it's time to end this poaching epidemic -- before there are no more elephants left.