19 Aug 2009

Asia demand blamed for spike in elephant poaching

8:07 pm on 19 August 2009

There has been a sharp rise in elephant poaching in Africa as conservation groups warn of an increasing international demand for ivory - particularly from east Asia.

Kenya led a high-profile campaign to outlaw the international ivory trade 20 years ago, but recent figures point to a big increase in poaching there, the BBC reports.

Last year, 98 elephants were officially lost to poachers, while 73 have been poached in the first six months of this year.

Director of the Kenyan Wildlife Service Julius Kipng'etich says Chinese migrant workers are heavily involved in ivory smuggling.