July 17, 2013: Update — Hillary Clinton takes on the cause to stem the slaughter of elephants. The illegal ivory trade is devastating the African elephant population. At the current rate of poaching, African elephants may be extinct within 10 years.
Approximately 30,000 African elephants were killed in 2012, the highest number in 20 years.
Clinton met with representatives from a dozen environmental groups at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo on Monday, to pledge her assistance in enlisting other world leaders in the effort to curtail the illegal ivory trade.
Clinton said she would “take some very specific steps, including using her political contacts with heads of state in trying to raise awareness about this issue.”
Dec 6, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on world leaders to stop the epic slaughter of African elephants, a wildlife crisis that could lead to the extinction of the Sub-Saharan species. CBS News went to Kenya last week, where every year 25,000 elephants are being killed by poachers. Their tusks are sold for thousands of dollars, often to wealthy Chinese customers who prize ornate ivory carvings.
“Our goal is to inform more people about this global conservation crisis,” Clinton said in a video address. “Attacks on elephants and rhinos are multiplying at an alarming rate.”
The State Department also declared Tuesday “Wildlife Conservation Day.” Clinton instructed U.S. diplomats all over the world to raise awareness about the trafficking of wild animals.
African gangs, some with links to organized crime, hunt the animals in order to make a fortune from selling tusks to merchants.