Source
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.


Elephant in South Africa Many poachers kill elephants for their tusks. The ivory is used to make jewelry, sculptures, and tools. (Paul Souders / Corbis)

Africa’s Elephants in Danger

A rise in the sale of illegal ivory has led to the deaths of thousands of elephants

By Sean Price | September 14 , 2012
<p>Conservationists say the illegal ivory trade could cause Africa’s elephants to disappear entirely within one decade. (Marco Moretti / Anzenberger / Redux) </p>

Conservationists say the illegal ivory trade could cause Africa’s elephants to disappear entirely within one decade. (Marco Moretti / Anzenberger / Redux)

Can you imagine a world without elephants? Scientists say elephants in Africa could be headed for extinction. Africa’s elephant population totaled only about 600,000 in 2006 and has been declining dramatically since. Tens of thousands of these already endangered animals have been killed each year for their tusks, and the number continues to climb.

In 2011, the amount of illegal ivory seized worldwide set a new record. Ivory is a white material that comes from elephant tusks. It is used to make jewelry, sculptures, and tools. The amount of illegal ivory recovered last year weighed 38.8 tons in all. You would need the tusks of about 4,000 elephants to produce that much ivory.

Up to 70 percent of illegal ivory winds up in China, a country whose economy is booming. Many people there can now afford luxury ivory items, like chopsticks, bookmarks, and jewelry. As a result, the price of ivory has skyrocketed. Today, it can bring as much as $1,000 per pound.

That kind of money is tempting in the poor countries of Africa, where most elephants live. In Uganda, for instance, there is a war between the government and armed rebels called the Lord’s Resistance Army. Both the rebels and the Ugandan military are believed to be slaughtering elephants to make money to arm their forces.

Just a few years ago, elephants appeared to be safe. A global ban on most elephant ivory in 1989 led to a steep drop in the number of poaching, or illegal hunting, incidents. But China has largely ignored this ban.

“China is the epicenter of demand,” says Robert Hormats, a senior U.S. State Department official. “Without the demand from China, this would all but dry up.”

Conservationists say that if more isn’t done to stop the illegal ivory trade, Africa’s elephants could disappear entirely within a decade.

Former NBA star Yao Ming, who played for the Houston Rockets, is one of several celebrities trying to urge people in China to stop buying ivory by explaining the threat facing elephants. He recently traveled to Africa and described what it was like to see a young elephant butchered for its ivory.

“I really was speechless,” Yao said. “After seeing these animals up close and watching them interact in loving and protective family groups, it was heart-wrenching and deeply depressing to see this [elephant] cruelly taken before its time.”

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Intermediate, Levels 600–699

    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Intermediate, Levels 600–699

    Increase the Informational Text in your classroom with this valuable collection designed to meet interests across all Lexile® measures.

    Organized by Lexile, this 20-book collection contains age-appropriate content-area trade books that students at different levels can read successfully and enjoy. This collection features high-interest science and social studies titles.


    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Title list:
    • Davy Crockett
    • Endangered Animals
    • Experiments with Plants
    • An Eye for Color
    • Fabulous Facts About the 50 States
    • The Great Kapok Tree
    • I Have a Dream
    • In Their Own Words: Thomas Edison
    • John, Paul, George & Ben
    • Komodo Dragon vs. King Cobra
    • More Than Anything Else
    • MSB Chapter Books: The Giant Germ
    • MSB Chapter Books: Voyage to the Volcano
    • Nat Geo Kids—Chapters: Dog Finds Lost Dolphins!
    • Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
    • The Time Warp Trio: Knights of the Kitchen Table
    • The Time Warp Trio: See You Later, Gladiator
    • Titanic
    • A Whale Is Not a Fish
    • Who Was Babe Ruth?

    $79.00 You save: 31%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades 3-5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Intermediate, Levels 600–699
    Grades 3-5 $79.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Guided Reading Content Areas: Level Z

    Guided Reading Content Areas: Level Z

    Strong reading skills are vital to every aspect of children’s education, and their reading abilities will affect their future achievement in science, social studies, and math. Guided Reading Content Areas helps you develop content-area knowledge while building reading skills, and provides access to a broad and exciting array of authentic texts.

    The program Features:
    • Titles aligned to content area standards in: Science–45%, Social Studies–40%, and Mathematics–15%.
    • Carefully leveled books that give students access to critical knowledge.
    • Lesson plans that develop important skills for reading informational text.
    • A Teacher's Guide co-authored by
    Dr. Gay Su Pinnell and Dr. Irene Fountas.

    Set Includes:
    • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    • Bat 6
    • Beyond Belief
    • The Disaster of the Hindenburg
    • Flight #116 Is Down*
    • The Greatest: Muhammad Ali
    • Guys Write for Guys Read
    • Memories of Vietnam
    • To Be a Slave*
    • We Shall Not Be Moved


    Visit the Scholastic Guided Reading Program website for more information.

    $359.95 You save: 25%
    Supplementary Collection | Grade 6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Guided Reading Content Areas: Level Z
    Grade 6 $359.95
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com