Deadly extraction: how demand for hippos’ tooth is threatening them with extinction

The black market’s insatiable demand for ivory has turned poachers’ consideration away from well-protected elephants to extra susceptible hippos

It appears virtually incomprehensible that the will for an ivory decoration or piece of jewelry justifies the slaughter of an impressive elephant, however as their populations proceed to crash, the ever-hungry black market has change into inventive so as to fulfill its greed. Now, ivory hunters are setting their sights on all the pieces from arctic narwhals to fossil mammoths. However one surprising sufferer of this barbaric observe is the common-or-garden hippopotamus. A brand new research says rise in demand for hippos’ tooth is threatening the mammal with extinction.

In some ways, it takes a number of effort to kill an elephant. They’re legally properly protected in most nations the place they vary and worldwide laws are clear. Additionally, smuggling massive tusks internationally is very conspicuous. Hippos provide a less expensive and, in some ways, “simpler” ivory possibility. The straightforward fact is that they don’t seem to be excessive on the precedence listing of the worldwide conservation neighborhood. Discover a group of wild-living African elephants and, typically, they may both be tracked with radio collars or would be the focus of long-term conservation analysis, intensive ecotourism or decided law-enforcement efforts. Not so with hippos. In contrast to their well-known savannah cousins, they don’t include a protecting human entourage, which means poachers can take their time. Moreover, they don’t seem to be protected particularly properly at both a nationwide or worldwide degree.

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