A ‘heinous crime’ for trinkets and chopsticks: Elephant family of 12 slaughtered as poaching on the rise

Originally posted on National Post | News:

The professional poachers, armed with automatic rifles and machetes, were ruthlessly efficient as they gunned down a family of 12 elephants in Kenya and then hacked off their tusks.

The panicked animals tried to flee but only got about 300 metres before they were killed in one of the worst recorded cases of poaching in Kenya’s history.

NP

NP

The deaths last Saturday highlight the growing slaughter of elephants on the African continent as demand for ivory soars, particularly from Asian countries where the “white gold” is turned into trinkets, religious items and chopsticks.

Officials estimate that 25,000 elephants were killed in Africa in 2011 and the numbers are rising in a bid to supply an underground, multi-million dollar ivory business.

On Tuesday, armed wildlife rangers fanned out across eastern Kenya in pursuit of the poachers who killed the elephant family.

A calf, less than a year old, is believed to…

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