Originally Posted by chicbicyclist
I still find it hard to believe that elephant leather is "old burden animals that died". You gotta factor in that with age, scars develop, the hides tend to stiffen and other imperfections appear. I would be very wary of such garments if the manufacturer never explicitly said where the hide came from.
Unlike most species', elephants' hides are thick enough to provide two or even three "skins" per animal. With modern technology, this is a verifiable fact. Keep in mind, too, that each adult animal is large enough to provide about three times the surface area of a cow, which means six to nine times the "hides." Add to this the fact that in many areas elephants are WAAAAAAAAY overabundant (check for yourself if you don't believe Jan and me), and you have a good supply of elephant hides.
As to sharks and rays, it depends on the species. A good number of them are so abundant that, like deer nowadays, it would actually be damaging NOT to harvest a predetermined amount.