Hillary Clinton, elephant savior

She'll be pushing heads of state to help save the threatened animals from poaching

By Alex Halperin

Published July 16, 2013 12:53PM (EDT)


Without the duties required of the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton is free to devote herself to the causes she chooses. One of them, apparently, is saving elephants. There are now about 420,000 of the pachyderms in Africa, a decline of about two-thirds since 1980. According to the Washington Post:

Cristian Samper, [Wildlife Conservation Society] president and CEO, said in an interview that elephant poaching has reached such a crisis point that the world’s leading conservation groups are launching a coordinated strategy to address the problem.

Clinton agreed to “take some very specific steps, including using her political contacts with heads of state in trying to raise awareness about this issue,” Samper said. “This is an issue that needs to be elevated, not just in terms of public awareness, but particularly with the political leaders in other countries.”

As the demand for ivory has grown in Asia — where the ivory from a tusk can sell for $1,000 a pound — the poaching of African elephants has exploded. Roughly 30,000 African elephants were killed illegally in 2012, the largest number in 20 years.

Here's a question for cable news shows to deliberate: Does her embrace of the GOP mascot indicate a rightward shift in her politics?

Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Africa Animal Kingdom Conservation Elephants Environment Hillary Clinton