That rate of killing is "unsustainable," Elias Magosi, an official with the environment ministry in Botswana, where the Africa Elephant Summit is being held, told Agence France-Presse (AFP). He pointed to international criminal networks that ferry illegal ivory to markets in Asia as a main driver of poaching.
"These syndicates take advantage of conflicts, social unrest, poor governance," he told AFP.
Oddly, although elephant deaths have increased, poaching numbers have actually leveled off since the peak of poaching in 2011.
How can poaching be stable, but elephant deaths are on the rise?