There were 10 million elephants in Africa 100 years ago. Now there are only 500,000. Here are the 7 corrupt governments that are responsible:
1. Zimbabwe 2. Mozambique 3. Tanzania 4. Sudan 5. Gabon 6. Democratic Republic of Congo 7. Kenya Violent crime and government corruption have disturbing links to elephant poaching and the ivory trade, a new study reported Monday. The report, which examined the seven countries above, found unique problems in each country -- though all were marked by conflict.
Some of the examples of government involvement in poaching include:
In Sudan, government-allied militias fund their operations by poaching elephants outside North Sudan's borders.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, state security forces provide rebels with weapons and support in exchange for ivory.
Amid economic downturn, Zimbabwean political elites are seizing wildlife spaces that are used as covers for poaching operations.
In East Africa, al-Shabaab and Somali criminal networks profit off poaching Kenyan elephants.
The report, titled "Ivory's Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa," was compiled by wildlife group Born Free USA and non-profit reporting organization C4ADS. In a release, Born Free USA's CEO Adam Roberts explains:
The elephant poaching crisis has reached historic levels and, shockingly, some elephant populations face extinction in my lifetime. Born Free USA sought to understand in a more robust way how destabilizing and corrupt individuals, as well as organized crime networks across Africa, place human security at risk and traffic in elephant ivory from slaughtered animals. Clearly, "Ivory's Curse" shows that defense, military, national security, and foreign policy leaders must play a role in stopping the elephant massacre across the continent.