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How Ingenious Fake Elephant Tusks Helped Track The Illegal Ivory Trade

Implanted with GPS and given to unsuspecting poachers, the tusks tell the story of how poaching funds warlords in Africa.

When Bryan Christy, an investigative journalist for National Geographic, wanted to dive into the ivory trade—finding out what happens to the tusks from the 30,000 African elephants that are killed each year—he realized that he wouldn’t be able to safely follow the tusks as they traveled from warload to warload in places like South Sudan. So he came up with an ingenious solution: a fake tusk implanted with custom GPS.

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