Poaching problem: Number of elephant orphans rises

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The founder of an elephant orphanage in Kenya says the orphanage is seeing an upsurge in orphaned elephants because of the poaching crisis occurring across Africa.

Daphne Sheldrick, who runs the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi National Park, said Wednesday that Kenya must pass stricter laws to punish those who poach elephants for their ivory tusks. Sheldrick said it would be economic sabotage if Kenya doesn’t prevent poaching deaths, because of the tourism it will lose.

Robert Godec, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, fed bottles of synthetic milk to some of baby elephants on Wednesday, World Environment Day. Godec said policing efforts and prosecutions of poachers must improve and a lowering of demand for ivory in places like Vietnam and China must take place to save elephants and rhinos.

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