Dumbo and Dumber
Poachers in Zimbabwe have killed as many as 400 elephants in the past year, according to park officials and internal park documents. Gangs have used AK-47 automatic rifles to kill the animals, then axes or chain saws to hack off the elephants’ ivory tusks, leaving hundreds of carcasses in the remote Zambezi valley near the Zambian border. David Cumming of the World Wildlife Fund, which has conducted a not-yet-released census of elephants in the region, said the killings in the past year represent some of the most serious poaching incidents in Zimbabwe in the past 20 years. The international sale of ivory is outlawed by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, but the body allowed sales from ivory stockpiles in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia this year. Some officials in other African nations blame these sales for a resurgence of poaching on the continent.