Changing the tide of elephant poaching

Elephants are among the most majestic creatures on the planet. Yet in some places, they are being killed off at an alarming rate. Poachers, who often cut the tusks out of dead elephants and leave their carcasses to rot, are responsible for many of the killings. Sickeningly, ivory still can bring a nice profit.

So the news from Mozambique recently was good — wonderful, in fact.

Thousands of elephants have been killed by poachers in Mozambique’s Niassa wildlife preserve during recent years. But during the past year, not a single one of the animals was claimed by poachers. Not one.

Niassa is a huge preserve, larger than Switzerland. It represents a major hope for preserving African elephants.

Conservation groups have praised Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi’s action on behalf of the elephants. He authorized a rapid intervention force to thwart poachers.

Nyusi deserves enormous credit for his action. But more than that, he has earned something more concrete from the United States. U.S. officials, assuming no aspect of foreign policy argues against it, should find a way to reward Nyusi and help him save the elephants. Meanwhile, elephants are not the only species being driven to the brink. Other nations should take a page from Nyusi’s book.


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