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African Elephants Slaughtered for Ivory at Alarming Rate June 20, 2014
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"Satao" before poachers killed and mutilated the popular Kenyan tourist attraction for its ivory.
The slaughter of more than 20,000 African elephants for their ivory last year is putting some local populations at an immediate threat of extinction, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The United Nations-linked conservation agency warns that criminal bands and rebel militias are killing the animals to cash in on the thousands of dollars per kilo the ivory fetches.

CITES says this is the third consecutive year that more than 20,000 elephants were illegally killed in Africa, leaving only about 500,000 left on the continent.

Meanwhile, one of the world’s largest and best-known elephants was killed and mutilated for its ivory in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park.

“Satao” was a favorite among visitors and rangers alike before poachers hacked off his face and took his long, massive tusks.

Photo: The Tsavo Trust