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Ivory Sleuth Who Traveled Underworlds Killed at Home

Top ivory investigator Esmond Bradley Martin, 75, found stabbed in neck in Nairobi

(Newser) - "Pachyderms have lost a great champion." That's the tribute of one elephant expert for Esmond Bradley Martin, one of the world's most well-known ivory investigators, who was found killed in his home in Nairobi, Kenya, per the Telegraph and BBC . The 75-year-old had a stab wound... More »

Hippos in Danger Because of Desire for Their Teeth

Mismanagement in trade of hippo teeth a bad sign: researchers

(Newser) - It isn't only elephants that are suffering from humans' insatiable thirst for ivory. A new study notes hippopotamuses, already predicted by some to disappear within 100 years, may be dying at unexpected rates to fuel the trade of ivory ornaments made from hippo teeth. Since 1975, 1.7 million... More »

People Now Getting Ivory Fix From Woolly Mammoths

But the hunt in Siberia is taking a toll

(Newser) - The hunt is on for frozen tusks from the extinct woolly mammoth, and NPR reports that it's making people rich in otherwise poor regions of Siberia. But it's also taking a devastating toll on the landscape, according to a photographer who embedded with hunters for three weeks. "... More »

There Are Just 25 'Big Tuskers' Left in the World. One Was Just Killed

Poachers suspected to have poisoned Satao II

(Newser) - One of the last "big tusker" elephants in Africa has been killed by poachers. Satao II, one of the oldest and biggest elephants on the continent, is believed to have been struck by a poisoned arrow; he was found dead Monday, before poachers could take his ivory. The elephant,... More »

China Just Gave Elephants Some Great News

Ivory ban is a game changer, conservationists say

(Newser) - A year even more disastrous for elephants than it was for celebrities is ending with some great news for the species. China, by far the world's biggest market for ivory, announced Friday that it is phasing out the ivory trade and will have a complete ban in place by... More »

Elephants Increasingly Born Tuskless Due to Poaching

In one area, 98% of female elephants are born without tusks

(Newser) - By 1931, all but 11 elephants living in what is now South Africa's Addo Elephant National Park had been killed, mostly for their ivory. Of the eight female elephants left, half had no tusks. Now 98% of female elephants in Addo are tuskless, the Independent reports. The normal rate... More »

Gabon Makes Huge Ivory Bust

Illegal haul was taken from about 20 elephants: government rep

(Newser) - Two Gabonese men—one of whom reportedly worked for the West African country's water and forest department—have been arrested for allegedly poaching, and a government rep tells Reuters that "We can confirm the seizure of around [440 pounds] of ivory, which represents about 20 elephants." That... More »

Greenland's Vikings Weren't Farmers, They Were Walrus Hunters

They apparently had a lucrative ivory trade going on: researchers

(Newser) - For a long time, scientists wondered why Vikings settled in Greenland as farmers, since livestock doesn't thrive there and the growing season is truncated, notes Hakai Magazine . But while speculation as to why they eventually abandoned the island territory range from climate change to soil erosion , researchers now think... More »

More Elephants Being Killed Than Born

35K killed annually since 2010; deaths driven by illegal ivory trade

(Newser) - A new study tallying the African elephant population has made a stark finding: If poaching continues at its current rate, the animal may be extinct in a century, the BBC reports. "We are shredding the fabric of elephant society and exterminating populations across the continent," says the study'... More »

Poachers Kill One of World's Biggest Elephants

Satao, almost 50, was found mutilated, with his tusks hacked off, in Kenya

(Newser) - An enormous and iconic elephant thought to have been born in the late 1960s—considered one of the last great "tuskers," with ivory that weighed more than 100 pounds and was so big it touched the ground—has been killed by poachers in Tsavo National Park in Kenya.... More »

Obama Cracks Down on US Ivory Sales

Sellers will now have to prove their ivory is legit

(Newser) - The Obama administration today announced a ban on nearly all ivory imports, exports, and sales, along with rules designed to make skirting the ban especially difficult. Under the new rules, all commercial imports of African elephant ivory are banned, including antiques. Most domestic sales will be banned as well; there... More »

Giant Ivory Stockpile to Go Up in Flames

Tusks of 11K elephants will be destroyed in Hong Kong

(Newser) - Hong Kong plans to burn the tusks of an estimated 11,000 elephants in the world's biggest burning of an ivory stockpile. The territory's government says the 28-ton stockpile of contraband ivory is a "management burden" and a "security risk," reports CNN . Hong Kong had... More »

US to Destroy 25 Years of Seized Ivory

Obama administration's move meant as warning

(Newser) - US officials have seized six tons of ivory over the past quarter-century, and this month, they plan to destroy it. The destruction in Denver—by rock-crusher—will be the first of its kind in this country, with the White House hoping to underscore that it won't tolerate poaching, Time ... More »

Activists Hope to Fight Poaching —With Nukes

New test can pinpoint year of elephant's death

(Newser) - As the slaughter of elephants for their ivory continues at its worst rate in decades , conservationists have enlisted an unlikely new weapon in the fight against poaching: Cold War-era nuclear bombs. Scientists have found that radioactive carbon left over from above-ground nuclear tests carried out between 1952 and 1962 makes... More »

US-Funded African Armies Slaughtering Elephants

Poaching is at its highest level in decades

(Newser) - Elephant poaching in Africa is at its highest level in decades, and American taxpayer dollars are helping to fund the frenzied slaughter, the New York Times finds. Soldiers from US-trained and funded armies in Uganda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been implicated in poaching and ivory... More »

2011's Elephant Carnage: Tens of Thousands

Populations on decline across Africa, wildlife groups warn

(Newser) - The mass slaughter of elephants and rhinos in Africa by poachers has once again reached crisis levels, warns the world body that tracks endangered species. As many as tens of thousands of elephants were slaughtered by poachers last year alone, and the illegal trade in tusks and horns is "... More »

2011: Deadly Year for Elephants

Ivory seizures represent at least 2.5K dead

(Newser) - This year will ring out as one of the deadliest for elephants since ivory sales were banned more than two decades ago. Officials seized tusks from a record 2,500 elephants, and while some of those could be from long-dead animals, the news still isn't good. "As most... More »

Feds Make $1M Ivory Bust

Philadelphia dealer accused of bringing one ton of tusks to US

(Newser) - Tusks from large numbers of elephants killed by poachers in west and central Africa ended up in the hands of a Philadelphia art dealer, federal investigators say. The dealer is accused of paying a co-conspirator to travel to Africa, buy raw ivory for carving, and stain it so the specimens... More »

To Sidestep Ivory Ban, Russia Digs Up Mammoth Tusks

Tusk treasure trove lies beneath Siberian ice

(Newser) - Russia is turning to the Siberian soil to satisfy an appetite for "ethical ivory." Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the worldwide ban on elephant ivory and digging up giant woolly mammoth tusks to sell abroad.Michelle Obama has been spotted wearing jewelry made from the ancient tusks of... More »

Thailand Seizes $2M in Elephant Tusks

Smuggled ivory found in boxes marked computer printers

(Newser) - Thai authorities repeated a warning for tourists not to buy ivory products of any kind in the country after finding a massive haul of tusks at Bangkok's airport Saturday. Officials, acting on a tipoff from authorities in Qatar, uncovered 296 African elephant tusks worth an estimated $2 million in boxes... More »

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