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Elephant Poaching Rising in Burma: Officials

8 February 2013

Since 2011, 18 endangered Asian elephants have died in Burma, 11 of which were killed by poachers, Burma’s Forestry Department told state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar. “They were poached … because the ivory tusks are offered for high prices at illegal markets. People in China, [Taiwan], Hong Kong and Japan believe that ivory has magic powers,” said Ye Htut, deputy director of the department’s Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division. This growing demand from East Asia was fueling a rise in elephant poaching in Burma, officials said, adding that two elephants were killed on Jan. 3 and Aug. 8 in Irrawaddy Division’s Ngapudaw Township. An estimated 3,000 wild elephants still live in Burma, the officials said.