Great efforts are made internationally to stop the illegal ivory trade. But it appears to be too little. From the National Geographic story:
Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.
In central Africa, the hardest-hit part of the continent, the regional elephant population has declined by 64 percent in a decade, a finding of the new study that supports another recent estimate developed from field surveys.
This is awful. From an animal welfare analysis–which should be the standard, not “animal rights”–there is no real human necessity served by the killing of these magnificent animals, and much suffering caused.
Accordingly, human exceptionalism holds that our duties to these animals to prevent their depredation means more must be done to to stop the butchery!