Elephants have enlarged teeth called tusks or incisors. Tusks have two parts. The first two-thirds is ivory which is visible. The hidden and contains tissues and nerves.

Tusks are very important for an elephant. It works as a weapon against other elephants/ animals while fighting and protects them from any potential hunter. They use it as a multi-purpose tool, to scratch off the bark from the trees, gather food and digging the ground. Tusks become a part of a trained elephant’s skill, they use it to lift heavy objects like logs of wood. Tusks perform the function of a shield, in defending the trunk of an elephant during a fight. Male elephants use tusks for socializing purposes like attracting females. In fact, males have bigger tusks than females.

Sadly, elephants are not the only ones benefitting from their tusks. Ivory used for making ornaments, billiard balls, piano keys and for showcasing exotic wealth. The ivory trade has been an ancient commercial business. However, its expansion has led to the endangerment of elephants leading to various bans and restrictions.

Ban on Ivory trade in Asia

  • Japan and China are the biggest importers of ivory in the Asian ivory market and Hong Kong being the biggest ivory trade market.
  • In 1975  trade of Asian elephants ivory was banned
  • For intricate carving Asian elephants, ivory is preferred over African relatives

These restrictions are the various initiatives, to protect the life of an endangered animal. However, it is not enough, creating more awareness against such illegal trades will strengthen the cause of the protection of elephants. The happy giants should not have to fight for their right to live, alone.

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Sharad Vats

Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered. Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park. Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here's a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger. Buy now on Amazon

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