You might have thought that the problem of elephant poaching had been addressed with the introduction of the ivory ban in 1989, but quite the opposite. Elephants are now massacred on an industrial scale by organised gangs armed with weapons including AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades . And why? Because ivory is now big business. Money from the ivory trade fuels transnational criminal syndicates and terrorist groups across the planet  funding arms, drugs and people trafficking activities on a global scale. The rate of killing today is increasing at such a pace that independent experts estimate that, within a decade, there will be no wild elephants left in Africa . It is the elephants of East Africa who are bearing the brunt of this mass destruction with herds in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania being the worst affected. Between 2009 and 2013 poaching reduced the once mighty herds of the Selous region of Tanzania by 66% (as confirmed by DNA analysis of seized tusks). This decline was sufficiently alarming for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to place the Selous Game Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger in June 2014 .