‘Paradise and hell’: the battle to save the forest elephant

Deep in the steamy rainforest of Gabon, a poaching gang’s night-time fire is smouldering and two long elephant tusks lie among the tangled roots. The axe that hacked them off lies nearby. Just after dawn, the insect buzz and bird chatter is suddenly pierced by a whistle blast and camouflaged park guards burst out from […]

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A New Species…

The African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) has only been considered to be a separate species for just over two years. Initially thought to be a sub-species of Loxodonta africana, the African Bush Elephant, several features distinguish the two. Straighter, harder ivory; a longer mandible; rounder ears; a longer tail; and an additional toenail on each […]

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POLL: Should there be an EU-wide domestic ivory ban?

The EU has traditionally been a global leader in tackling the problem of wildlife trafficking and in encouraging other countries to take action. Last year it published a far-reaching Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, which set out a comprehensive list of actions to address the problem. So why is it dragging its heels when it […]

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Trump’s indecision on trophy hunting reignites heated debate

On November 15, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted a ban on the U.S. import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The president put a hold on the order two days later, calling trophy hunting in a tweet a “horror show.” He has yet to make a final determination regarding the USFWS order. […]

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POLL: Should elephants be kept in captivity?

Water streams off the edges of her giant ears, runs in rivulets down the wrinkles of her slate-grey skin. She presses her whole head into the hose’s force, the spray welling into her mouth. As she drinks, she rubs her skin against the steel fence, her eyelids drooping luxuriously, her trunk relaxing. If ever I’ve […]

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30 years of protecting the mysterious Okapi

The discovery of the elusive okapi, once believed to be a mythical unicorn, was one of the most exciting taxonomic findings of the twentieth century. This mysterious mammal lives deep inside the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has been known to the western world only since early 1900s. Some […]

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Scientists: we are ‘condemning’ forest elephants by ignoring evidence

How do you tell two species apart? Let’s say you’re investigating a bird with two populations. One lives in the savanna, the other in the forest. The savanna population eats grasshoppers, but the one in the forest eats beetles. The savanna bird is big-bodied with a curvy beak; the forest bird is smaller with a […]

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Video: Camera traps capture rare footage of wild bonobos

Bonobos, our ape cousins, love peace. Unlike chimpanzees, also our close relatives, bonobos are known to resolve conflict through sex instead of aggression. They kiss, they caress, and females display genito-genital rubbing (also called G-G rubbing) to communicate, bond, and reconcile. But capturing these elusive and endangered apes on camera is not easy. In the […]

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Counting Elephants From the Air in Africa’s Newest World Heritage Site

OKAVANGO DELTA, Botswana—”Fifteen elephants right!” ecologist Mike Chase shouts above the roar of the single-engine Cessna. The plane swoops low over the herd of gray bodies as they wade single-file across the floodplain below. We’re flying over the channels and islands on the western periphery of the vast Okavango Delta, as part of the Botswana […]

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