Study Estimates 100,000 Elephants Killed in Last 3 Years
The continued demand for ivory from China and elsewhere in Asia has led to a dramatic decline in Africa’s elephant populations in the last decade, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Extrapolating from local population estimates, the authors estimated that 100,000 elephants have been killed in the last three years and that, in central Africa, the regional population has declined by 64 percent in the last decade. Read more about this study on National Geographic’s website.
Reportage photographer Brent Stirton documented the illicit ivory trade, and efforts to combat poachers, in 2011 and 2012. In his resulting story, “God’s Ivory,” Brent vividly illustrated the connection between poaching in Africa and demand for religious and cultural icons made from ivory in Asia.
Top: The largest mass killing of elephants in recent history took place at Bouba Ndjida National Park in North Cameroon close to the Chad and Central African Republic Borders from January through March 2012.
Middle: The preparation for the burning of 5 tons of trafficked Ivory recovered from a seizure in Singapore in 2002, Manyani, Tsavo, Kenya, July 20, 2011.
Bottom: Ivory on sale at government registered White Peacock Arts World, Beijing, China, November 15, 2011.
Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it’s where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.
What is West Point like?
It is a sort of finger of land, a little sandy peninsula that juts out from a nicer area of Monrovia, abutting a river on one side and the ocean on the other. It’s about 800 meters long and 550 meters wide. There are only two roads in that are paved. The rest is a thicket of shacks and houses and huts, pretty much all one story and built of plywood or cement blocks, with corrugated metal on the rooftops. Between them are sandy pathways. It’s so closely packed that in some cases if you’re trying to get to your house you have to walk through someone else’s house.
Both sides of the paved roads are packed with shops selling all manners of goods, vegetables, fish. There are throngs of people, carrying big buckets on their heads with all sorts of goods. If you drive in, you gently nudge your way forward, parting this sea of people.
And that’s where NPR’s photographer David Gilkey encountered the 10-year-old in the picture above?
Residents had originally found this boy naked on the beach. They dragged him up to a sort of alleyway and put a shirt and pants on him. But beyond that no one wanted to touch him, no one wanted to give him shelter, because it seems he was a child who had been at that holding center for Ebola patients.
Photo: A 10-year-old boy suspected of being sick with Ebola was found naked on the beach by residents of West Point. They dressed him but couldn’t find a clinic to take him in at first. Eventually he was taken to JFK Hospital in Monrovia. (David Gilkey/NPR)
A girl drags her goat heading back home through a main road empty of traffic and full of children playing, after being blocked by the Pakistani police with shipping containers, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan on Aug. 14, 2014. (Muhammed Muheisen/AP)
With a spate of huge stories breaking in the past few weeks, you might not have caught the massive environmental crisis in northern Mexico that began earlier in August.
According to the Associated Press, local politicians claim that Grupo Mexico, a private mining company in Sonora with a troubling track record of hazardous waste violations in Mexico and the U.S., was slow to report a disastrous fault in its leaching ponds, which hold industrial acid used in the mining process. The spill released around 10 million gallons of acid into the Bacanuchi and Sonora Rivers.
Twice a week.