The Wildlife Conservation Society has reported that nearly half of Mozambique's elephants have been killed by poachers for their ivory in the last five years. Per the article:
Poachers have killed nearly half of Mozambique’s elephants for their ivory in the past five years, the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society said Tuesday. A Mozambique government-backed survey showed a dramatic 48 percent decline in elephant numbers from just over 20,000 to an estimated 10,300, the WCS said in a statement....The figures can be explained by the arrival of poachers from Tanzania, where the elephant population has already been decimated, according to Alastair Nelson, director of WCS in Mozambique, whose organization administers the Niassa Reserve.
I hate to say it ... but the African elephant will be extinct before my daughter's children have kids of their own ... and it'll happen because people want ivory for scrimshaw or piano keys or some damned thing and other people are hungry enough and indifferent enough to figure, "Oh, there will always be more elephants" ... until there aren't anymore.
Ignorance is hard enough to combat. Ignorance and greed are damned near impossible.
When I read stories like this, I want to puke. Little wonder I'm such a misanthrope.
I know how you feel.
Yes, I agree - I feel the same way too.
Things are bad in Tanzania too, John. Tanzania lost two thirds of its elephants in the past four years.
Tanzania had lost two-thirds of its once mighty elephant population in just four years, as demand from China for their ivory tusks sent a highly-organised army of rifle and chainsaw-wielding criminals into its game reserves.
Mr Guthrie said its few rangers were “powerless and totally demoralised”, working with scant weaponry, tents and food. Swaggering poachers set up camps in prime areas, and in some cases moved in to ranger posts.
Run by big criminal syndicates based in Dar es Salaam, the poachers worked in “highly-mechanised teams”, according to Howard Frederick.
“You would have lead teams who would go out and scout an area, then kill teams come in, ambush and kill whole groups,” he said.
“They move on to the next area while the butchering team comes in and chops all the tusks and then the transport team comes in. It’s progressed from being very casual poaching to teams of highly-organised individuals.”
Zimbabwe elephants poisoned by cyanide because American's don't want to shoot them, we're told.
On Monday, the environment, water and climate minister, Oppah Muchinguri, blamed the increase in poaching on a US ban on hunting Zimbabwean elephants for sport.
“All this poaching is because of American policies. They are banning sport hunting. An elephant would cost $120,000 in sport hunting but a tourist pays only $10 to view the same elephant,” she said, adding that money from sport hunting was crucial in conservation efforts.