The slaughter of Africa’s elephants and the illegal trade in ivory in China are “out of control” and could push wild elephants to extinction within a generation, conservationists said Tuesday.
Soaring quantities of ivory are being sold in rapidly growing numbers of shops in China, with over 1,00,000 elephants killed from 2010 to 2012, said the joint report from the Save the Elephants and The Aspinall Foundation campaign groups.
“Skyrocketing demand for ivory in China — the wholesale price of raw elephant tusks has tripled in just four years since 2010 — have sparked a booming trade in smuggled ivory that is driving the unsustainable killing of elephants in Africa,” said the report released in the Kenyan capital.
Poaching has risen sharply across Africa in recent years, fuelled by rising demand in Asia for ivory.
The number of legal ivory stores in China shot up from 31 in 2004 to 145 last year, while the number of ivory carving factories increased from nine to 37 over the same period. — AFP