In barely a week, Kenyan officials in the port town of Mombasa seized two shipments of ivory weighing more than 4.5 tons combined (Kenya Seizes More Smuggled Ivory Destined for Malaysia, July 9, Reuters). It is estimated that the ivory is the result of hundreds of poached elephants; some suspected to be over 50 years old based on their tusk size. To put this in perspective, an estimated 25,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory.
The following Op/Ed is by Peter Knights, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WildAid.
If South Africa is looking to stop rhino poaching beyond improving the protection of Kruger National Park,where the majority of the problem is occurring, then it should revisit the successful 1990s crackdown on rhino horn markets rather than the disastrous "one off sale" model used in 2008 for ivory, which created the current poaching crisis for elephants across West, Central and Eastern Africa.