Ivory Wars: Out of Africa

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Duration: 1 hour

With wildlife crime now thought to be second only to drugs in terms of profit, Rageh Omaar goes on the trail of the ivory poachers, smugglers and organised crime syndicates to investigate the plight of Africa's elephants.

As demand for ivory rises in the Far East, this Panorama special - made jointly with the BBC's Natural History Unit - goes undercover in central Africa and China to ask whether the African elephant can survive in some parts of the continent. Last year saw the highest number of large seizures of illegal ivory for over two decades - despite a 23 year global ban on its international sale. One area of northern Kenya has lost a quarter of its elephants in the last three years - largely due to poaching. Panorama visits an elephant orphanage to see the impact of the killing on the young and, with access to Interpol's largest ever ivory operation, confronts the dealers in Africa and in China - now the world's biggest buyer of illegal ivory. The film hears fears that, unless China curbs its huge appetite for ivory, the future of the world's largest land mammal could be in doubt.

  • The illegal ivory trade threatening Africa's elephants

    Elephant orphanage

    Despite a 23-year ban on international trade in ivory, elephants continue to be shot for their prized tusks, with much of the material ending up on sale in China.

    The very future of the African elephant, the largest land animal on Earth, could be at risk.

    Last year saw the highest number of large seizures of illegal ivory for more than two decades. Read more here.

  • BBC Newsround picture gallery

    Illegal ivory trade

    BBC Newsround has compiled a photo gallery about the risk faced by African elephants by the international market for ivory. View the gallery here.


Rageh Omaar
Judith Ahern
Charlotte Scott
Executive Producer
Tom Giles
Executive Producer
Julian Hector


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