Save African Elephants from Terrorists

Save African Elephants from Terrorists

Driving the slaughter is desire. Ivory, most of which ends up in China, can fetch fifteen hundred dollars a pound on the black market. Rhino horn is sold in Asia for medicinal properties (of which it has none). It has also become a status symbol in Vietnam, where it’s ground up and served in a tea or snorted as a party “drug.” Dearer even than cocaine, it commands upward of twenty-five thousand dollars a pound. The high price of horn and ivory has attracted organized crime and, more deadly still, armed militias. The Lord’s Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony, has reportedly profited from elephant poaching, and so, too, has al-Shabaab, the group behind last year’s shopping-mall attack in Nairobi. According to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, there is “growing evidence that the terrorist groups stalking Africa” are funding their activities “to a great extent from ivory trafficking.”

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