Six months after Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe held controversial sales of ivory stocks, there is widespread disagreement over whether the sales sparked incidents of elephant poaching. An international ban on the sale and trade of ivory was imposed in 1989, but the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species allowed the three nations to hold one-time auctions of their existing stockpiles of ivory in April. The nations say the auctions raised money for wildlife conservation and poor rural communities and did not lead to poaching. But Kenyan officials and some conservation groups say the brief resumption of legal ivory trade did spur the killing of elephants outside the southern African region.

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