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This alarming book tells a crime story that takes place thousands of miles away, in countries that few of us may visit. But like the trade in illegal drugs, the traffic in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn has far-reaching implications not only for these endangered animals, but also for the human victims of a world-wide surge in organized crime, corruption and violence.
Since the worldwide ban on commercial ivory trade was passed in 1989, after a decade that saw half of Africa's elephants slaughtered by poachers, Ronald Orenstein has been at the heart of the fight. Today a new ivory crisis has arisen, fueled by internal wars in Africa and a growing market in the Far East. Seizures of smuggled ivory have shot up in the past few years. Bands of militia have crossed from one side of Africa to the other, slaughtering elephants with automatic weapons. A market surge in Vietnam and elsewhere has led to a growing criminal onslaught against the world's rhinoceroses. The situation, for both elephants and rhinos, is dire.
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