Ele­phants be­ing born to be tusk­less

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

LON­DON: An in­creas­ing num­ber of African ele­phants are now be­ing born to be tusk­less be­cause poach­ers have con­sis­tently tar­geted an­i­mals with the best ivory over decades, fun­da­men­tally al­ter­ing the gene pool.

In some ar­eas, 98% of fe­male ele­phants now have no tusks, re­searchers have said, com­pared to be­tween two and six per cent on av­er­age in the past.

Al­most a third of Africa’s ele­phants have been il­le­gally slaugh­tered by poach­ers in the past 10 years to meet de­mand for ivory in Asia, where there is still a boom­ing trade in the ma­te­rial, par­tic­u­larly in China.

About 144,000 ele­phants were killed be­tween 2007 and 2014, leav­ing the species at risk of ex­tinc­tion in some ar­eas.

Mean­while, those African ele­phant pop­u­la­tions that do sur­vive could be­come vir­tu­ally tusk­less, like their Asian cousins, re­searchers have warned. Con­ser­va­tion­ists say an ele­phant with­out tusks is a crip­pled ele­phant. – The In­de­pen­dent

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