What's in a tusk?
Levi Mukarati From around 1979 to 1989, the African elephant fetched a massive price. Interestingly, the huge sum was attributed to less than 20 kilogrammes of the gigantic 6 000kg animal. In that decade, jumbos were slaughtered at an alarming rate and the population dramatically halved from around 1,3 million to just above 600 000.
The length to which the illegal syndicates trading in ivory can go to rob the jumbos of their tusks has left many people with more questions than answers. Recently, poison was used to kill animals, especially the endangered elephants, in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
As a result of the continued poaching and now the shocking poisoning of the huge animal, the question is being asked: what’s in a tusk? Why do poachers risk life and limb, evading trained and armed game wardens and playing a game of hide and seek with dangerous beasts in the bush?
According to South African-based Bullet Safaris, elephant hunting is challenging, needs exceptional skill and, despite being the largest animals on land, they are difficult to see in thick bush and can spring a surprise charge towards humans. Even to a well-armed poacher, elephants are very dangerous.
Could this be the reason why poachers are resorting to cyanide poisoning in Zimbabwe’s largest national park?... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Sunday MailSimilar Stories