Elephants' struggle with poaching lingers on

New study documents long-lasting effects, pinpoints where poaching has restarted

4:25pm, October 20, 2008

It’s a tough time to be an African elephant. Despite an international ban on ivory trading, the animals are being slaughtered for their tusks at a greater rate today than before the ban was enacted in 1989. At the same time, scientists are learning that the traumatic effects of the deaths of close relatives — especially for female elephants — may echo throughout the fragmented families for decades.

“These solitary females just finally had daughters — they’re trying to raise families. And they are just going to get mowed down again,” says Kathleen Gobush, lead author of a new study that examines the long-term effects of poaching.

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