The U.S. Secretary of Interior, Ms Sally Jewell, on Wednesday said that an average of about 34,000

elephants were killed for their ivory in African countries.
Jewell, who made the disclosure on a telephonic news conference on “Wildlife Trafficking In Africa’’ with journalists from across Africa, also noted the increasing activities of poachers in the continent.

The U.S. official also admitted that her country was part of the continent’s problem of wildlife poaching and trafficking.

“Between 2011 and 2014, African elephant poaching reached the highest recorded level since records were kept, beginning in 2002.

“In just a three-year time span, 100,000 elephants, roughly, were killed for their ivory. That’s an average of about 34,000 elephants
killed each year in Africa.

“Elephant ivory, rhino horn, pangolin, other illegally taken wildlife is destined primarily for markets in Asia, and many times coming through the U.S.
“We are part of the problem and we want to be part of the solution,’’ she said.
According to her, poaching currently also threatens extinction of critically endangered black rhinos.

Jewell said that black markets in the U.S. were contributing to high demand for wildlife products.

“These markets here in the U.S. and abroad are driving many species to the brink of extinction,’’ she said.

The secretary of Interiors said that president Barrack Obama’s administration was committed to addressing the problem at home, as well as working with other countries in wildlife conservation. (NAN)