Scientists have used a revolutionary genetic technique to pinpoint the area of Africa where smugglers are slaughtering elephants to feed the worldwide illegal ivory trade. Using a DNA map of Africa's elephants, they have found that most recent seizures of tusks can be traced to animals that had grazed in the Selous and Niassa game reserves on the Tanzania and Mozambique borders. The discovery suggests that only a handful of cartels are responsible for most of the world's booming trade in illegal ivory and for the annual slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants. The extent of this trade is revealed through recent seizures of thousands of tusks in separate raids on docks in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan. These were aimed at satisfying the far east's growing appetite for ivory, a new status symbol for the middle classes of the region's swelling...
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