Myanmars Elephants by Ko Myo

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To cremate the body, a villager pours gasoline over the rotten carcass of a wild elephant that had been killed and skinned by poachers in the forest reserve.<br />
Neighbouring China has an increasing appetite for elephant skin, teeth, tusks, tails, and other body parts to be used in traditional medicine, aphrodisiacs, and jewellery. This has turned Myanmar into a poaching hotspot with a new trend—elephants being killed for their skin, whereas in the past they were mostly hunted only for ivory. Elephants are typically shot with poisoned darts or high-velocity rifles and die a prolonged and painful death before being skinned or decapitated for their tusks. According to the organization Save the Elephants, the wholesale price of an elephant tusk dropped from $2100 a kilo in 2014 to less than $1000 in 2017, thanks to an effective ban in China. However, the wildlife trade monitoring organization Traffic puts the price of elephant skin at about $120 a kilo—up from $10–20 ten years ago.