University of Utah

Elephant poachers are hard at work in Africa, and carbon dating proves it

Elephant poachers are hard at work in Africa, and carbon dating proves it

Elephant poaching is alive and well — and the elephants are not. A team of scientists examining seized shipments of elephant ivory from Africa have found that the vast majority came from elephants that died within the last three years.

The sobering results, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal that the killing of elephants for their ivory is continuing at a disturbing pace — even as elephant populations across the continent are in sharp decline.

While poaching had been easing for several years, it has returned with a vengeance...

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