Elephants play in Kruger National Park, South Africa in this file photo. Elephants have a matriarchal society and travel in families, according to the research of of Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the 2010 winner of the $100,000 Indianapolis Prize – the largest animal conservation prize in the world. Neal J. Menschel/The Christian Science Monitor/FILE
Elephants fight at the Elephant National Park in Addo, South Africa, in July. Fernando Vergara/AP
A herd of elephants is backdropped by Mt. Kilimanjaro in Amboseli game park, Kenya, in this file photo. Karel Prinsloo/AP/FILE
An adult female, her daughter, and their calves walk on the open range in Kenya in this undated handout photo provided by the journal Science. C. Moss/AP/FILE
Mother and baby elephant graze in the bush at Lion Sands private game reserve, which borders Kruger National Park, in this file photo. Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/FILE
Elephants roam the open plains of the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya in this file photo. Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/FILE
A family of elephants gathers under a tree in Samburu game reserve in northern Kenya in this file photo. Antony Njuguna/Reuters
Two elephant calves drink water in Kenya's Tsavo East national park in this file photo. Karel Prinsloo/AP/FILE
Sgt.Duncan Lekiche, a game warden with Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), sorts through impounded elephant tusks at KWS headquaters in Nairobi in this file photo. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the 2010 winner of the Indianapolis Prize, spent years campaigning for a worldwide ban on ivory sales, which finally took effect in 1989. Patrick Olum/Reuters/FILE
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species threatened to keep eight ivory-trading countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, from trading in legal wildlife products by forbidding other CITES member nations from buying from them.
Thanyarat Doksone, Associated Press /
March 6, 2013
Top conservation organizations warned Wednesday that the illegal ivory trade is hastening the decline of Africa's already endangered elephant population, and said they are ready to punish nations that are lax in fighting the problem.