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The Market for Elephant Exotics is Exploding in China and Vietnam

Jun 18, 2018 | 0 comments

Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) have found that poaching is an emerging crisis for Asian elephants in Myanmar. Previously, female Asian elephants were generally protected from slaughter in the wild as illegal demand was only for the ivory of the males. By accident, researchers became aware of the crisis as they were conducting an unrelated telemetry study in which they fitted nineteen Asian elephants with satellite GPS collars to better understand elephant movements and reduce human-elephant conflict. At the time, it was believed that such conflict situations represented the greatest threat to the wild elephant population though...

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Elephants and Ivory

May 11, 2015 | 0 comments

 It is most difficult to comprehend that anyone would kill an elephant to poach the ivory for purely decorative purposes. That is particularly the case as elephants are the closest animal group in terms of intelligence and empathy to the Hominidae family, composed of gorillas, chimps and humans. Historically, ivory was harvested for such special purposes as billiard balls, piano keys and decorative carvings. Synthetics have replaced ivory for pure functional usage whereas new wealth in China and Vietnam has spurred an even greater demand as a blatant, garish display of prosperity. Recently, Bill Fitzhugh, Archeologist and Director of the...

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