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When Emmerson Mnangagwa became President of Zimbabwe, he endorsed a programme to save pangolins, the most poached mammal in the world, and many saw this as a positive sign for conservation in Zimbabwe. However, the ivory trade and trade in live animals is still thriving due to a variety of reasons. A recent article by the Daily Maverick outlines the pitfalls of the elephant and ivory trade, as well as the reasons it still exists.
According to the article, baby elephants are being sold to Asian countries and America, and there is a quota of 1 000 tusks to be sold a year. There is a high demand for live elephants from many Asian countries, and baby elephants are being captured in the wild to be sold to China and other Asian countries. The animals are often mistreated and in a bad condition when they reach their destinations.
There also seems to be little evidence that the income from the sale of these animals and the ivory is being put into conservation efforts in Zimbabwe.
With tourists being more aware and supportive of conservation and eco efforts, conservation is a major draw card. Incidents such as the shooting of Cecil the lion have had a negative impact on tourism in Zimbabwe.