Save the Elephants

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Tue, 2014-07-08 07:05 by Hans

SAVE THE ELEPHANTS
BY ELIZABETH KOLBERT
JULY 7, 2014

… Africa, after years of progress in protecting its wildlife, is again in crisis mode. In 2011 alone, an estimated twenty-five thousand African elephants were killed for their ivory; this comes to almost seventy a day, or nearly three an hour. Since then, an additional forty-five thousand African elephants—about ten per cent of the total population—have been slaughtered. Long thought to be one species, African elephants probably belong to two. Forest elephants, which are slightly smaller than bush elephants, live only in West and Central Africa. Their numbers have plunged by more than sixty per cent just since 2002, and if this trend continues they could be gone entirely within a decade.

Read the complete article in The New Yorker

The plight of elephants is paralleled by an equally gruesome situation for rhinos. Three of the world’s five rhinoceros species are listed as “critically endangered”; one of them, the Javan rhino, is probably down to fewer than fifty individuals. The most numerous rhino, the white rhino, survives primarily in South Africa. Until recently, it was considered a conservation success story; however, poaching has increased to the point that the white rhino, too, is at risk. In the first few months of this year, nearly four hundred rhinos were killed in South Africa for their horns, most of them in national parks. …

Read the complete article in The New Yorker