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The Elephant in the Room

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The Elephant in the Room

Posted by Rebecca Brocato on January 1, 2009

We here at Enough love gorillas, elephants and people. As part of its Planet in Peril series, CNN sent correspondent Lisa Ling to southeastern Chad to report on the illegal poaching of elephants in the region. Stories from her trip received significant airtime on both American Morning and Anderson Cooper 360, two of the network’s most popular programs.

Such poaching is a grave problem and is demonstrative of the rampant illegal exploitation of natural resources in the region. However, discussing violence against animals in Chad without any mention of the alarming banditry problems and ongoing political instability in the country is to tell only half the story. Genocide in Darfur has bled across the border, exacerbating an already acute internal political crisis. Despite the efforts of a UN peacekeeping mission to promote security and reduce banditry, millions of people are at risk. Ling’s footage was spectacular, and called attention to a terrible practice. However, she missed an opportunity to shed light on a humanitarian catastrophe that still remains under-reported.