Elephants being born to be tuskless
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