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A stockpile of ivory is ready to be stored after cataloguing at the Chadian Zakouma National Park, Feb. 20, 2014 ahead of a ceremony where over a ton of ivory from Chad will be burned.
A stockpile of ivory is ready to be stored after cataloguing at the Chadian Zakouma National Park, Feb. 20, 2014 ahead of a ceremony where over a ton of ivory from Chad will be burned.Marco Longari—AFP/Getty Images
A stockpile of ivory is ready to be stored after cataloguing at the Chadian Zakouma National Park, Feb. 20, 2014 ahead of a ceremony where over a ton of ivory from Chad will be burned.
Chadian soldiers escorting the Chadian President, speed past horsemen arriving to attend a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Zakouma National Park, Chad's oldest natural park, during which elephant tusks will be incinerated, Feb. 21, 2014.
A pyre on which over a thousand kilos of elephant tusks will be incinerated burns during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Zakouma National Park, Chad's oldest natural park, in Goz Djarat, on Feb. 21, 2014.
A Chadian child looks on during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Zakouma National Park, Chad's oldest natural park, led by the Chadian President during which a thousand kilogrammes of elephant tusks will be incinerated, Feb, 21, 2014.
A Zakouma National Park anti-poaching team patrol on Feb. 25, 2014.
A collared elephant, darted at the Zakouma National Park on Feb. 23, 2014 during a collaring operation aimed at preserving elephants in the park, gets up after the effect of the drug has evaporated. Once sedated the elephant is fitted with a radio collar that will in the future relay its position, increasing the chances to protect him against poachers.
African Parks staff scramble to help an elephant who fell on a dangerous position after being darted at the Zakouma National Park on Feb. 23, 2014 during a collaring operation aimed at preserving elephants in the park.
African Parks staff apply a collar to an elephant, darted at the Zakouma National Park on Feb. 23, 2014 during a collaring operation aimed at preserving elephants in the park.
A collared elephant, darted at the Zakouma National on Park Feb. 23, 2014 rests, sedated.
An Zakouma National Park anti-poaching team patrol on Feb. 25, 2014.
A stockpile of ivory is ready to be stored after cataloguing at the Chadian Zakouma National Park, Feb. 20, 2014 ahead
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Marco Longari—AFP/Getty Images
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How to Save Elephants

Feb 28, 2014

In a bid last week to show his country's commitment to curbing the multibillion-dollar-a-year illegal ivory trade, Chadian President Idriss Déby set aflame a large pile of confiscated tusks during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Zakouma National Park. The park was home to 4,000 elephants about a decade ago, but that figure has dwindled to just 450 today. The World Wildlife Fund reports more than 20,000 elephants are killed around the world every year for their ivory tusks, with the majority in Central Africa. Recent steps have been taken to reverse the trend; the U.N. Security Council linked wildlife trafficking in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the country's deadly conflicts and the U.S. issued a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory. But park rangers on the ground say more must be done to fend off the well-armed poachers, some of whom cross the region's porous borders. AFP photojournalist Marco Longari, who TIME named the Best Photographer on the Wires in 2012, documented the ceremony as well as the park's efforts to track and defend the animals.

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