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Zimbabwe’s Plan to Export Wild Elephants: The Full Audio Interviews

Over the last few months, there have been ongoing and alarming reports about a group of elephant calves held captive in enclosures in the Hwange National Park,  Zimbabwe’s flagship wilderness area. Inside sources, people on the ground in the park, have said that these animals were snatched from their wild herds, rounded up in a facility, and are now being readied…

OPINION: Rhinos and Elephants Are in Trouble—So Why Adopt Contradictory Emergency Measures?

By Katarzyna Nowak

It’s entirely possible, even likely, that we humans will not coexist very much longer with ancient, thick-skinned megafauna weighing thousands of pounds. How to save them is a matter of ever greater urgency—and dispute.

Ethiopia Burns Entire 6.1-Ton Ivory Stockpile

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — At a ceremony today in the capital, Ethiopia burned its entire 6.1-ton ivory stockpile. The event was held at the Gulele Botanical Garden, close to the headquarters of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), where the ivory had been stored. Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and officials from the Ministries of…

OPINION: China Announces One-Year Ban on Imports of African Ivory Carvings

By Patrick Bergin

On February 26, China’s State Forestry Administration announced on its website it was imposing a one-year ban on all imports of African ivory carvings. According to an unnamed forestry official, the suspension of ivory imports would allow authorities to evaluate the ban’s effectiveness in stemming elephant poaching in Africa. Because the ban was limited in scope, too brief in its temporal application, and fell far short of banning all domestic ivory trade in China, it was largely viewed by the conservation community as a symbolic plaster applied to a gushing wound.

Elephant Poachers “Will not Have the Last Word in Kenya”

A plume of dark smoke curled over Nairobi National Park in Kenya last week. A funeral pyre of 15 tonnes of elephant tusks had been erected and set alight on a day that was at once tragic and full of hope. Kenya’s latest ivory burn comes at the end of a momentous week for elephants…

Baby Elephants Held in Zimbabwe Suffering, Expert Says

New photographs of some 80 young elephants that are being held in a heavily guarded facility in Zimbabwe suggest that the elephants are under extreme duress, according to an expert familiar with the animals’ behavior. The elephants, who were snatched from their families in the wild, are being held in a facility in Hwange National…

Kenya Burns 15 Tons of Stockpiled Ivory

By Fredrick Nzwili

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya today burned tons of stockpiled ivory, sending a strong message against elephant poaching and ivory trafficking.

The burning is the latest in a series of ivory stockpile destructions by nations across the world. During the past three years, Gabon, Belgium, Chad, China, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Gabon, France, Philippines, and the USA have all destroyed contraband ivory and rhino horn.

Will Mobilization of Military Forces Stop Elephant Poaching in Cameroon?

Ten elephant carcasses discovered in mid-January in and around Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park are raising fears that poachers may again be targeting the park. But information remains sketchy. According to the Cameroon Tribune, a government newspaper, the military made several patrols following reports of gunfire and men on horseback searching for elephants. They found…

ESSAY: Human Females Could (Should?) Be More Like Elephant Females

From Katarzyna Nowak, Lauren McCall, and Isabel Behncke Izquierdo: What unique skills do women hold for the future of our species and the ecosystems we have come to dominate? What can we learn from elephants as human societies become more out of balance with nature?

400 Poachers Snared in a Year: Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit on a Roll

Every year, thousands of travelers from all over the world visit the Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Zimbabwe and Zambia, to watch the waters of the Zambezi River thunder into the deep Batoka Gorge, and to appreciate the abundant wildlife that roam the areas around the Falls. But like anywhere in Africa,…

Watch Wild Elephant Awaken After Being Saved From Poison Arrow

As we were leaving the scene in the helicopter, the elephant got to his feet and turned to face us, lifting his trunk as if to say, “Go away and stop bothering me!” Or maybe, ” Thank you.”

Zimbabwe Planning to Boost Its Sales of Baby Elephants, Sources Say

For opponents of Zimbabwe’s controversial plan to export scores of baby elephants, the stakes have just gotten higher. More than 80 young elephants are being held in a capture facility in Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe, according to sources monitoring the situation there. The sources report hearing of plans to send 27 elephants to Thailand…

OPINION: Slick “Hunter Proud” Video Uses Bad Ecology to Promote Elephant Culling, Trophy Hunting, and Ivory Trading

By Phyllis Lee, Keith Lindsay, and Katarzyna Nowak

The Elephant and the Pauper: The Ivory Debacle is a recently released 50-minute video by the Hunter Proud Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable public foundation and lobbying organization based in Houston, Texas.

The video was circulated in the first half of January 2015 to members of the IUCN Specialist Groups and to CITES membership, with the specific aim of lobbying for hunting and consumptive use of African wildlife.

The film—whose proposals for gaining revenue from ivory and sport hunting come at a time of unprecedented poaching and killing of elephants across their range, including in Zimbabwe—is risky to the point of irresponsibility.

For Orphaned Elephant Calf, Harrowing Rescue Ends in Hope

MASAI MARA, Kenya—One day last October, a mother elephant and her ten-month-old calf were seen playing together on the plains of the Maasai Mara National Reserve when a passing tourist photographed the tranquil scene. Twenty-four hours later, on October 22, the young calf was spotted again—this time standing over her mother’s poisoned carcass, seemingly reluctant…

ESSAY: Infighting Over Whether to Trade in Elephant Ivory and Rhino Horn Jeopardizes Both Species

From Michael Schwartz: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Isaac Newton’s third law of motion is certainly an adequate illustration of the ongoing pugilism between pro-trade and anti-trade advocacy groups concerning the battle to protect remaining elephant and rhinoceros populations in Africa.