Many people think that the ivory trade is banned, but in realty, it continues and is resulting in the slaughter of tens of thousands of African elephants every year. On average, 96 elephants are killed every day by poachers. At this rate, they will go extinct in just a few decades.

In addition to the killing by poachers, several African nations permit elephants to be killed: Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Gabon, and Tanzania. Private businesses and governments receive money from this killing. Some countries spin trophy hunting as a way to help poor communities and reduce poaching. In reality, trophy hunting makes hunting guides rich and lines the pockets of corrupt government officials but does little to help poor communities or farmers. Read more at National Geographic.

Now, Namibia and Zimbabwe have gone to the CITES meeting and attempted to open the ivory trade. The other members of CITES have stopped this effort. Kenya is one of the nations that is working to protect elephants and promotes sightseeing safaris, not trophy hunting.

Kenyan Environment Minister, Judi Wakhungu, said “ivory is worth more on a live animal”. Sports hunting is also banned in Kenya, which focuses on wildlife-watching safaris and ecotourism. In April it burnt 105 tons of ivory.

Read the Reuters article here.