Some of us in these parts are friends of charismatic megafauna. So it is worth noting the powerful piece that our friend Matt Scully has written over at The Atlantic on the destruction of elephants. It opens with a quote from Pope Francis, and goes from there:
East, west, and central — everywhere there are elephants in Africa, there are “poachers,” a word that now seems far too small for the enormity of their offense. And if we want to take seriously those words from Francis — a new pontiff named for the saint who despised cruelty, whose very first sermon spoke of “respecting each of God’s creatures” – this would be a very good place to focus our attention. Unless Western and African nations can turn things around fast, to protect the 400,000 or so left, then the elephants of Africa, pretty much all of them, will be gone.