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By: Maraya Cornell

One Expert's Better Way to Save Elephants

National Geographic

This elephant may have been killed for his tusks

This elephant, photographed in 2013 in Tanzania's Mikumi National Park, may since have been killed for his tusks. Benson Kibonde, former warden of neighboring Selous Game Reserve, urges stronger protection for living elephants. Photo by Daniel Hayduk, Getty Images

Accompanying Kenya’s widely-publicized ivory bonfire last April were announcements that the country’s wildlife service was moving toward “intelligence-based conservation,” with more emphasis on the pursuit of traffickers and smugglers rather than on the poachers who actually do the killing. “

We know there is limitless supply of poor guys on the ground who are willing to risk everything,” WildAid Director Peter Knights told Kenya’s Capital News, in praise of the shift in conservation priority. “It’s the middlemen we need to stop.”

This is in line with the overall trend in African wildlife conservation. Kenya’s neighbor Tanzania, which lost 60 percent of its elephants between 2009 and 2014, has been ramping up law enforcement efforts to arrest and prosecute traffickers and claims to have caught several high-level criminals.

Read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/elephant-poaching-selous-game-reserve-ivory-trafficking-tanzania/

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