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The British Are Coming…To Help Elephants

(RHINOS/ELEPHANTS) KENYA — The British army is joining the war against African elephant and rhino poaching.

Twenty-five members of the British armed forces will train African rangers on how to combat poaching through better patrolling and response skills.

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Scots guards on parade. Photograph: Dusan Vranic/AP

“Illegal poaching is having a devastating effect on some of the world’s most iconic species and we must work together to tackle it,” said British environmental secretary Owen Patterson.

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Demand for elephant ivory tusks and rhinoceros horn is driven mainly by the Southeast Asian market.

Kenya plans to microchip every horn of the country’s rhinoceros population and increase penalties for poachers of elephants and rhinos.

The high demand of ivory in Southeast Asian countries like China, Indonesia, and Thailand has caused the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants and rhinos, for use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The belief in traditional Chinese medicine and senseless status of ivory trinkets, despite being universally discredited, continues to feed the slaughter of these endangered species.

“By joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, our armed services will be able to provide training and support to the courageous people who put their lives on the line every day to protect these animals,” Patterson continued.

— Israel Igualate, exclusive to Global Animal

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