Poaching of African Elephants Still Goes On
African elephants are still hunted at an alarming rate. A report by the United Nations states that the elephant population in Africa is decreasing because more animals are killed than born each year, especially in Central and Western Africa.
According to the World Wildlife Fund , a total of 470 000 elephants lives in Africa,compared to 1.2 million in the 1980s. Poaching reached its climax in 2011 when 75% of all elephants died at the hands of illegal hunters. Since then killings have stabilized, but the numbers remain high. In addition, war and other conflicts have led to the decrease in the elephant population.
Even safe areas for elephants are under attack now. In 2015, elephants killed in South Africa's Kruger National Park, considered to be a safe haven for elephants, rose sharply for the first time.
The UN says that time is running out and that something has to be done to save African elephants from disappearing completely. More effort is needed not only to stop poaching in Africa but to target countries where ivory is sold. Governments around the world must continue their battle against the ivory trade, especially in Asia, where buying ivory has become very popular.
Recently, prominent celebrities, including tennis star Andy Murray and Prince William of England, have taken part in campaigns to stop the ivory trade. It is estimated that the illegal ivory trade generates 10 to 20 billion dollars a year. Together with drugs and weapons sales it has become one of the most lucrative black market commodities.
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- according to = as said by ..
- alarming rate = surprisingly fast
- battle = fight
- billion = a thousand million
- campaign = movement
- compare = if you look at two things and try to find the differences
- climax = highest point
- commodity = material that can be traded or sold
- completely = all together
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- ivory = the hard yellowish-white substance that forms the teeth of elephants; it is used to make jewelry and other ornaments
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- prominent celebrities = famous people
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- trade = buy and sell things
- under attack = here: poachers have come here to hunt down and kill animals
- weapon = object you use to attack someone, like a gun or a knife