The high price of ivory has put African elephants on the fast track to extinction unless sanctions against the “white gold” are put in place, reports activist Joyce Poole, co-director of Elephant Voices. According to Poole, approximately 40,000 elephants are poached annually, seven percent of which are slain for their tusks. Beijing is one of the largest ivory markets in the world, and last year Hong Kong customs seized nearly 16 tons worth of tusks that were en route to China. Poole notes that in order for elephants to survive Chinese authorities must crack down on the ivory trade and issue stricter regulations—otherwise the species may become extinct within the next 10 years.
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