Agony and Ivory- Alex Shoumatoff reports about greedy ivory trade and disappearing African elephants (LOE)

Carved ivory statue in Guangzhou, China. (Wikipedia Commons)

A shocking feature story by Alex Shoumatoff, in August 2011’s, issue of Vanity Fair opened my eyes to the rampant poaching of African elephants in the continent today. The issue created a stir globally in the 1990s but subsequent bans on ivory trade and interventions by policy groups like CITES and TRAFFIC  seemingly brought the crisis under control. However, the bans have not been entirely successful and African forests are still littered with elephant carcasses. The hungry market for ivory in China is being nourished and fed by Chinese labourers in Africa and poor African communities. Estimates say that hundreds of elephants are being killed every year to meet the demands for illegal ivory. Shoumatoff’s story , Agony and Ivory, describes his investigation from the jungles of Africa to the mantelpiece of the Chinese businessman.

I worked on the story during my internship with ‘Living on Earth’ and we interviewed Shoumatoff who spoke to us from Montreal, Canada.

CLICK HERE to listen to the story!