Ironically, just after our blog yesterday, about the remarkable qualities of elephants, more sad statistics were featured in today’s NY Times, p. A9.
Study Details Elephant Deaths
Poachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa from 2010 to 2012, a huge spike in the continent’s death rate of the world’s largest mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, a study published Monday found. Warnings about elephant slaughters have been ringing for years, but Monday’s study is the first to scientifically quantify the number of deaths across the continent by measuring deaths in one park in Kenya and using other published data to extrapolate fatality tolls across the continent. The study found that the proportion of illegally killed elephants had climbed from 25 percent of all elephant deaths a decade ago to roughly 65 percent of all elephant deaths today, a percentage that, if continued will lead to the extinction of the species. The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was carried out by experts from Save the Elephants, the Kenya Wildlife Service, an international group called MIKE responsible for monitoring the illegal killings of elephants, and two universities.