WATCH: New BBC Panorama documentary examines rising ivory trade

Along with many of you, I have found the recent reports on the continuing plight of elephants in Africa particularly distressing. You may have seen from my colleague’s blogs, in the past few months alone, we were on the ground in Cameroon documenting heart-breaking scenes of massacred elephants.

Hundreds of these animals had been slaughtered mercilessly by gangs of gun wielding poachers, who bragged about the numbers of elephants they had killed.  

Many were just babies with small tusks.

To help raise awareness of this grave issue, we were delighted to be involved in a major new documentary by the BBC which examines the rising demand for ivory trinkets in Asia. It features undercover filming in China and central Africa and looks into the effects of the trade on existing populations of elephants.

The hour-long Panorama special screened yesterday (12 April 9 p.m.) gives a harrowing account of how ivory poachers, traffickers and organised crime syndicates are proving deadly for elephants.

I was also interested to watch the footage from INTERPOL's largest-ever ivory operation, which was funded by IFAW, and the interview with our Asia Regional Director, Grace Ge Gabriel, who discusses our battle to combat the ruthless poachers, who are systematically slaughtering endangered elephants.

I hope you will have chance to watch this excellent programme. To view the programme on BBC iPlayer click here.

So why not show your support for elephant protection by joining our virtual elephant march and tell your friends and family to sign up too. 

-- RM

Comments: 2

6 years ago

I am absolutely appalled and very sad to learn that the Spanish King has been hunting in Africa.
How can the killing of an elephant, in a most cowardly way, by using a gun, satisfy and fill a human being with pride, by posing next to the dead animal.
Having seen a programme on BBC TV this week, how elephants are massively slaughtered for their ivory, how on earth is it possible that this person is legally allowed to hunt these wonderful creatures? The answer... by exploiting the poor African communities.
I hope, many people will contact their Spanish Embassy, to report that we are highly critical of the King's pasttime.. May be the Animal Welfare Organisations in this Country could also add their voice, adding more pressure to end this appalling slaughter.
A King of men? Not in my eyes!
Mrs. C.B. deFiouw

6 years ago

You do a wonderful job trying to save animals just wish there was more people like you in the world the slaughter of animals is in a grave situation right now!

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
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