Conservationist Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick. who heads the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi National Park, believes the current rate of elephant slaughter left unchecked will ultimately lead to the species extinction in a little over a decade.
“Today is World Elephant Day but in 12 years’ time there may not be any elephants left in Africa to celebrate,” she told Express.co.uk yesterday. “A world without elephants is hard to comprehend, but it is a real possibility. Elephants have walked the earth for 50 million years but against a submachine gun or poacher armed with a spear, they stand little chance”
Despite a ban on ivory, an estimated 36,000 elephants were killed last year in Africa. That’s one elephant killed every 15 minutes.
“When it comes to elephant killing, and indeed most of the illegal trade in wildlife, all roads lead to China,” writes Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Care for the Wild International, on HuffPo. “Some of you may think that this is a sweeping generalisation, but the truth is it’s not. Yes – there are many other markets for ivory right now, but the biggest and most insatiable appetite comes from China without any shadow of a doubt – this is common fact.
“Whilst China should be recognised in some part for stepping up their fight against wildlife crime recently, they should also be condemned for their inability to even partially quash this demand, which has increased rapidly with the emergence of a new, wealthier, middle class.”
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