Letters for April 24, 2016
Hawaii’s chance to save endangered wildlife
Hawaii’s idyllic islands have long been known for their natural beauty. From the lush landscape to the beautiful oceans and rivers, nature is in our DNA and a multitude of unique species are part of our island’s heritage. However, our reputation for natural beauty and diversity is being eclipsed by evidence that Hawaii is hiding a thriving trade in endangered species products.
Recent investigations by law enforcement officials, conservation groups and animal protection organizations have revealed that elephant ivory, walrus tusks and other products made from endangered species are currently being sold illegally in Hawaii due to the lack of necessary legislation at a state level.
As elephants, rhinos, pangolins and other exotic species around the world are being driven to extinction because of an insatiable and growing demand for their parts, Hawaii has become a profitable destination for wildlife products, and may now be the largest unregulated market in the country. This is heart-wrenching. Especially because the African elephant could be extinct in our lifetime if they are continued to be killed for ivory at the present rate.
Currently there is an accelerated movement to ban the trade of endangered wildlife products. Both California and New York have passed legislation, likely leaving Hawaii as the largest remaining ivory market in the country.
Now is the time for us to also take responsible action and support Senate Bill No. 2647 which would shut down the trade of endangered wildlife in Hawaii, with the exception of traditional Hawaiian cultural practices.
We owe it not just to the animals, but to the generations that follow, to do our part to save these endangered species.
Ranaella K. Steinberg, DVM
‘Cat Project’ deserves community’s support
Recently I learned about a wonderful organization called Kauai ComMunich Cat Projects. I am so impressed with their compassionate service that I want to share this information with you, and I hope that you will share the info with those you know who may not get to read this.
Kauai Community Cat Project is run totally by volunteers who will, upon your request, come and trap feral cats, bring them to vets for care and neutering, then return them to the areas they came from. This service is absolutely free to the public, including vet bills, provision of trap cages, and the time and out-of-pocket expenses of the volunteers. They operate solely on donations. This is a very humane and compassionate solution to stop the breeding and overpopulation of Kaua’i’s feral cats.
The Kauai Community Cat Project will soon be having a fundraiser and any amount you can contribute is appreciated. No amount is too small, even if you can only spare a little, it will help. For more information, or to make arrangements, you can contact Mary Wilder at these email addresses and phone numbers: (808) 634-4890 or cell (760) 525-9667; Mary@kauaicats.org or kauaicommunitycats.org.
Thank you all for your caring and generosity.