Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ivory trade surge claims lives of 2,500 elephants despite practice being banned two decades ago

The trade in ivory is at a record high, despite being banned 20 years ago after a global outcry.

Hauls of elephant tusks found at ports in Africa and Asia reached 24 tonnes last year, double the figure for 2010.

The seizures, which only represent the amount which was captured, equate to around 2,500 dead elephants in 2011 alone, and conservationists warn the majestic animals are at risk of being wiped out in some parts of Africa.

An investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme to be screened tonight shows the international ban on ivory trading in 1989 is repeatedly flouted by poachers at an unprecedented rate.

In northern Kenya, a popular safari destination, numbers of elephants have plummeted by a quarter in just three years, mainly due to illegal killing.

The camera crew are taken by police tracking the poachers to see the carcass of a dead female elephant, aged between 35 and 40 whose face was hacked off to take her tusks. She was pregnant. Read More