Elephants, apart from their massive sizes, are also known for their tusks, considered to be an essential elephant feature that everyone knows about, regardless if a person in question has actually ever seen an elephant or not.
Though tusks have become readily identifiable elephant attributes, not everyone is aware of the 1980 movie entitled Tusk, telling the tale of a young girl and an elephant who happened to be born on the same day.
As a part of the elephant’s physiology, tusks are actually the “teeth” of an elephant, defined as their second upper incisors. Unlike how humans and other mammals use their teeth, an elephant uses its tusks for digging, pushing, and other tasks that their trunks can not effectively do.
Thinking of them as “arms” is also apt, since elephants are known to have certain inclinations with which tusk they are more prone to use, with “left-tusked” and “right-tusked” elephants being around. Also, unlike human teeth, the tusks of an elephant is known to grow like how fingernails would grow.
The tusks of elephants are often valued for their ascribed exotic value, with many finding the ownership of real elephant tusk items as a symbol of wealth. Utilized in the making of jewelry items, souvenirs, accessories and other items, elephant populations are threatened by illegal poaching activities, primarily targeting the tusks of elephants as the “score”.
Though elephants are large, their size makes them big targets, which doesn’t really do anything in protecting them from being taken down. Their tusks, an important part that elephants need to have to survive, continue to be hunted by poachers, and as the movie Tusk shares, encouraging the demand for elephant tusks stands to be the best move in protecting them as a species.