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Decline in Elephant Populations Worries CITES

The African Wildlife Foundation has committed $10 million through its Urgent Response Fund to stop poaching, wildlife trafficking and the demand for wildlife products.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) says it intensifying the conservation of wild animals like lions, elephants, pangolins and others as poachers continue wreaking havoc in most countries.

In an interview, CITES secretary general, John Scanlon, said there is a marked decrease in elephant populations in most countries.

He said CITES is taking some necessary measures in combating wildlife crime in many countries, including Zimbabwe.

“We are treating and encouraging states to treat wildlife crime as a serious crime, that is a serious crime as we treat illicit trade in narcotics or trafficking in persons or in arms,” said Scanlon.

Scanlon noted that some nations are facing challenges in tackling rampant poaching due to lack of resources.

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His views are echoed by Sally Waynn-Pitman of Zambezi Society, who noted that they need funds to protect elephants in the country.

“At the current rate of deterioration we are seeing for example with elephants in the Zambezi valley if we are not careful we can awake up in 10 years and there is no gonna be any elephants,” said Waynn-Pitman.