Image via Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson.com

(CNN) — At the start of the 1980s there were more than a million elephants in Africa. During that decade, 600,000 were destroyed for ivory products. Today perhaps no more than 400,000 remain across the continent, according to Samuel Wasser of the University of Washington, who is widely recognized as an authority on the subject.

In the past few years an epic surge in poaching has resumed the killing, thanks to the penchant for ivory in the Asian market — especially in China, where ivory is now selling for over $1500 a kilo.

…….If this level of killing continues, if elephants continue to be slaughtered for trinkets and statuettes, in 10 years’ time most of Africa’s elephants will be gone and an ineffable symbol of majesty and wonder — and the linchpin in the ecology of an entire continent — will have been consigned to oblivion.via CNN

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