Last week, two jewelers in New York City were charged with possessing millions of dollars worth of illegal ivory. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said at a news conference, “It’s booming here and pushing both species of elephants to the brink of extinction.” In June, more than a thousand elephant tusks were incinerated in Gabon by President Ali Bongo to demonstrate his efforts to end poaching. Ivory poaching was banned worldwide in 1989; however, just last year the number of elephants killed for their tusks reached an all-time high. International anti-poaching program Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants explains that poaching is most common in impoverished places where there is a lack of law enforcement and a high demand for ivory.
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