“Blood Ivory,” the lead article in the October issue of National Geographic Magazine, shed light on the plight on African elephants killed only for their prized tusks. That article, written by Delaware Valley native and Penn State graduate Bryan Christy, was the basis of an episode of “National Geographic,” which aired on WHYY-TV in February.
In the time since our first interview with Christy, he’s been to a conference on the illegal ivory trade in Thailand. He says dozens more elephants have been slaughtered, and China, by all accounts the world’s largest importer, shows no signs of curbing the slaughter.
Despite the decades-old international ban on tusk collecting, trade in illegal ivory continues. Christy says that a one-time-only exception to the ban in 2008 to allow China to import 60 tons of stockpiled ivory opened the flood gates to smugglers.